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Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI)

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - What it is

The number of people diagnosed with cognitive impairment has increased in the recent years. At National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), we see approximately 250 -300 new cases per year, and half of them are below 65 years old. With the increasing awareness of cognitive impairment, the number of patients with Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) is likely to rise.

young onset cognitive impairment conditions & treatments

What Is YOCI?

YOCI includes mild cognitive impairment and dementia occurring in patients under the age of 65 years.

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Symptoms

Signs and symptoms

  • Shows behavioural and mood changes
  • Difficulty in abstract thinking and reasoning
  • Disorientation to time and place
  • Forgetfulness that affects day to day function
  • Forgets recently given instruction
  • Misplaces personal items
  • Neglects personal hygiene
  • Problems with language
  • Repeats questions
  • Unable to perform familiar tasks

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - How to prevent?

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of YOCI

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an important cause of YOCI. MCI refers to individuals with mild cognitive impairment, who have difficulty in memory and other cognitive abilities but have normal daily functions.

Causes of dementia in the young include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Autoimmune dementia
  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus

Challenges faced by:


  • Lack of knowledge about the disease
  • Lack of support system
  • Unaware of the various support facilities


  • Lack of understanding about the disease
  • Caregiver stress in looking after person with dementia
  • Lack of knowledge about existing resource and ways to access the support system

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Diagnosis

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Treatments

YOCI service at NNI

YOCI patients and their families face different problems and needs compared to other dementias. Many encounter difficulty in gaining access and support to locally available services as most existing services are tailored for the elderly or disabled.

Objectives of NNI YOCI programme:

  • To improve quality of life of patients with YOCI
  • To provide counseling to caregivers of patients with YOCI
  • To equip caregivers with skills to manage the behavioural changes of patients with YOCI
  • To provide a support system for patients with YOCI and their families

YOCI Programme Initial Assessment*

  • Detailed nursing assessment (e.g. Psychosocial and functional status)
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Clinical visit
  • Diagnostic test/s e.g. blood test, brain scan (Above to be determined by physician after initial assessment)

Diagnostic Review Visit*

  • Clinical visit
  • Education and counseling
  • Social issues referral (e.g. Dementia Day Care/ Palliative service)

* Please note that the Initial Assessment and Diagnostic Review Visit will be covered over two visits.

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Preparing for surgery

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Post-surgery care

Young Onset Cognitive Impairment (YOCI) - Other Information

Support group

  • Monthly meetings will be held to address specific concerns related to YOCI.

Where to seek help?

  • National Neuroscience Institute (NNI@TTSH) Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia Clinic
  • National Neuroscience Institute (NNI@SGH) Neurodegenerative Disease Clinic
  • Dementia Singapore Tel : 6377 0700
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth