The Hill: Rural Americans with early-onset Alzheimer’s less likely to see a specialist

EXCERPT: “Americans suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s are less likely to receive specialized care if they live in rural parts of the country, a new study found. Ohio State University researchers found rural patients with the disease, which occurs between the ages of 30 and 65, were typically seen exclusively by a primary care physician and were less likely to undergo testing that would help doctors manage the condition. Researchers noted that patients with early-onset Alzheimer’s make up only 6 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses, but they said this form of the condition is usually more aggressive and leads to accelerated cognitive decline. ‘These people are young – in their 50s and early 60s – and many are still the major family caregivers to older family members and children. They’re still working, paying mortgages and living active lives,’ lead author Wendy Yi Xu of Ohio State’s College of Public Health said in a media release. ‘If you’re able to diagnose it early enough, the patients and the family members can prepare, make financial arrangements, plan important events and seek the support they need, which can improve the quality of life for all involved,’ Xu said.” FULL STORY: