YOUNG-ONSET DEMENTIA CLINIC

Most patients who develop a dementia such as Alzheimer's disease are over the age of 65. However, for some individuals, the onset of symptoms can occur much sooner. Young-onset dementia (YOD) refers to the development of dementia in individuals under the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of younger-onset illness, but other less common dementias tend to present much more frequently in younger patients, particularly frontotemporal dementia. Younger patients may present initially with behavioural disturbance or neuropsychiatric illness, and may be diagnosed with a major mental illness such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia before dementia is suspected.

The Neuropsychiatry Unit has historically seen a large number of patients diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia, in addition to rarer disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other genetic causes of dementia. Our staff have a wealth of clinical and research experience with this patient group acquired over the last 20-30 years.
Our Young-Onset Dementia (YOD) clinic runs under the auspices of the Melbourne Young-Onset Dementia Service, a clinical service of the Neuropsychiatry Unit.

Dr Ramon Mocellin is the consultant neuropsychiatrist who heads the team, working alongside our senior neuropsychologist Dr Wendy Kelso. They work alongside a specialist Young-Onset Dementia registrar, funded through the Commonwealth Expanded Training Settings Programme. In 2013, Dr Dmitri Griner is the YOD registrar.

To access the MYOD web site directly, click here and it will open in a new window.
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The service provides outpatient assessment, management and liaison for patients under the age of 65 who are diagnosed with or are suspected to have a dementing illness. This involves initial medical, psychiatric and neurological assessment of patients, comprehensive neuroradiological assessment, and neuropsychological assessment and cognitive/behavioural management strategies. Where required, they are able to arrange inpatient neuropsychiatric assessment in our inpatient unit. They also work closely with neuroradiologists at the Royal Melbourne Hospital to assist with neuroradiological diagnosis of atypical young-onset presentations of dementia.
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We also liaise closely with Alzheimer's Australia in teaching, liaison and advocacy roles, particularly with its Victorian branch (AAV). We closely liaise with their Younger Onset Dementia team and are involved with its Living with Dementia groups and meetings and regularly speak to professional, patient and family groups.

Information on services provided by AAV for patients and families affected by YOD can be found at their website here.
For referral to the clinic, please click on the Referrers tab in the menu at the top of this page.