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07/23/2013 01:09 pm ET Updated Jul 23, 2013

Ron Grant, 59, Living With Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease (VIDEO)

A former prison chaplain, Ron Grant, 60, used to read constantly. "I have several degrees... I had to read books all the time," Grant told Huff Post Live.

Unfortunately, Grant lost the ability to read five years ago following an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis. He could no longer keep up with his job as a prison chaplain and had to go on social security to support himself and his family.

Grant is certainly not alone in his struggles. An estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and 200,000 Americans have early-onset Alzheimer's disease, which affects people 65 and under. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease can strike people as young as 40 years old. Many young people diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's are working professionals, a long way from retirement age.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's, people can experience a window of time when they are not entirely impaired, yet they are often excluded from regular life prematurely. A growing number of patients at this stage -- people like Grant -- are speaking out on how it feels to be shut out too soon.

To learn more about living with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, watch the video above.

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