Dementia NEWS: Shock as 36-year-old diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

ALZHEIMER’S disease has left a 39-year-old mother-of-two bed bound, in a care home and unable to recognise her family.

Carla Bramall, who has a rare genetic form of Alzheimer’s, began to show symptoms of the disease when she was 30. She was formally diagnosed with the disease at 36-years-old.

Her mother, Rita Pepper, 61, has become the sole carer of Carla’s two children and still visits her daughter every day.

Carla was 30 when she started displaying symptoms of Alzheimer’s in 2007.

She was unable to cope with having a bank account or filling out forms and became heavily dependent on her mum.

Rita recognised the symptoms immediately as her husband Barry, Carla’s father, had died from early-onset Alzheimer’s in 1993 at the age of 43 and had showed similar behaviour.

Rita tried to prepare herself for the likelihood one of her children may develop the condition after the family were informed that it was an inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease.

The family has a mutation in the PSEN1 gene, which affects around 450 families worldwide and can cause symptoms to appear as early as 30 years of age.

The condition accounts for less than one per cent of Alzheimer’s cases.

This meant that her two children had a fifty-fifty chance of having the same rare faulty gene as their father, and could develop the condition at around the same age.

Rita, from Rushden said: “Watching my own child go through this is indescribably painful, it breaks my heart.

“Every day after I found out about my children’s risk I would look at them and think ‘which one?’, or I’d wonder if it would be both of them.

Alzheimer's disease: Carla was diagnosed with the disease when she was 36

“Carla deteriorated so quickly. She no longer even lifts her head when we’re there or makes any eye contact. She can’t walk or speak and needs to be fed with soft food.

“I visit her every day and I just hope that one day she might recognise me again, but I cry every time I come out the home. She has seizures regularly which only adds to the distress.

“My granddaughter knows her mum is ill but it’s hard for her to understand, she’s only just realising that she won’t get any better.

“My grandchildren rarely see Carla now because she is so different to how she used to be. Last time I took them to visit her they left in floods of tears.

“It’s in similar circumstances that Carla and Lee visited their dad.”

Alzheimer's disease: Rita and her son Lee have spoken out about Carla's condition

Rita said Lee has supported her though it all, but added that seeing Carla in hospital has ‘devastated him’.

She explained: “I thought by now there’d be new treatments out there but there just isn’t anything available that can slow down the progression.

“I’m desperate for as much research as possible to go into the disease, it might be too late for Barry and Carla but I will spend the rest of my life worrying about my grandkids, and I’m not going to be around forever.”

Carla was just eight, and her brother Lee Bramall was seven, when their father was diagnosed. He died seven years later.

Dementia news: Rita lost her husband to Alzheimer's disease

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