Becky Barletta, from Suffolk, is unlikely to live beyond the next 10 years after being diagnosed with dementia just months after getting married. Picture: BPM Media
Becky Barletta, from Suffolk, is unlikely to live beyond the next 10 years after being diagnosed with dementia just months after getting married. Picture: BPM Media

Dementia at 32: 'There’s not much of her left'

A 32-YEAR-OLD newlywed has been left robbed of her personality and needing around-the-clock care after being struck down by dementia just months after tying the knot.

Ski instructor Becky Barletta is unlikely to live beyond the next 10 years after being diagnosed with a rare condition called frontotemporal dementia.

Becky was described by her family as a 'blonde bombshell' who 'lit up the room' before the illness altered her personality beyond all recognition.

She is believed to be one of the youngest patients ever struck down by the illness.

Sister Sophie, 30, says Becky's deterioration has been rapid since she was diagnosed last August - just 10 months after getting married.

She told the Cambridge News: "There is not much of our old Becky left. She repeats the same stories to us and says inappropriate things.

"I find it hard when we go out, she is off down the street asking people if they can make a funny noise and that sort of thing. It is not because I am embarrassed, but because I find it so sad to watch.

"Some people are amazing and do the noises and chat with her, but then there are some who do not understand, because she looks well from the outside, and can be quite short with her.

"I stand and think: 'If you had the honour of meeting Becks when she was well then you wouldn't be so quick to judge'."

Becky Barletta has a rare form of dementia. Picture: BPM Media
Becky Barletta has a rare form of dementia. Picture: BPM Media

Despite the disease, Becky has maintained a love of walking and watching television.

Her family are holding a walk next month to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society's research into the condition.

A JustGiving page for the fundraiser says: "There is currently no cure or treatment for any dementia or even treatment to stop or slow its progression.

"We need to change this as soon as possible and can only do this through research and raising money to support this research.

"While unfortunately this will not help Becky, we know she would want us to try and halt this vile disease in it's tracks for the benefit of the future generations in our family and other families who have been affected by dementia."

Katie Blackburn, Alzheimer's Society spokeswoman for the East of England, said: "Frontotemporal dementia causes damage to parts of the brain which are responsible for our behaviour, our emotional responses and our language skills.

"This type of dementia is less common than other forms such as Alzheimer's disease and predominantly affects younger people.

"Dementia doesn't care who you are and can affect anyone. Being diagnosed at a younger age is likely to present a different set of challenges for example they may still be working, have financial commitments or dependent children.

"Alzheimer's Society is here for anyone affected by dementia - wherever they are, whatever they're going through. It is great to hear the family are uniting against dementia and holding their own Memory Walk to raise awareness."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission.

News Corp Australia


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