Postgrad Med J 80:125-139 doi:10.1136/pgmj.2003.011171
  • Review

Young onset dementia

  1. E L Sampson1,
  2. J D Warren1,
  3. M N Rossor2
  1. 1Dementia Research Group, Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Dementia Research Group, Institute of Neurology, University College London and Division of Neurosciences, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Martin Rossor
 Dementia Research Group, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK;
  • Received 13 June 2003
  • Accepted 12 August 2003


Young onset dementia is a challenging clinical problem with potentially devastating medical and social consequences. The differential diagnosis is wide, and includes a number of rare sporadic and hereditary diseases. However, accurate diagnosis is often possible, and all patients should be thoroughly investigated to identify treatable processes. This review presents an approach to the diagnosis, investigation, and management of patients with young onset dementia, with particular reference to common and treatable causes.