An aging population presents many different challenges to Connecticut health care providers. Having enough doctors and nurses and enough hospital beds are common issues. Another challenge involves diagnosing dementia related diseases correctly.
In many cases, when a patient presents with signs of memory loss, personality changes, and inability to interact socially, a doctor almost automatically makes a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. This has become more common in recent years simply because of the large number of people in the age bracket where this disease is common.
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s often comes with a treatment plan, including specific medications designed to help those suffering from this disease. However, recent studies show that nearly 10 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may actually have a different form of dementia known as Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration.
FLD has signs very similar to Alzheimer’s, but it can occur at an earlier age and in most cases does not progress like Alzheimer’s in the same manner. FLD also is treated in a different manner and it has not yet been established if treatments designed for Alzheimer’s disease can actually harm those suffering with FLD. Sadly, medical professionals are often quick to come to conclusions when a patient presents with symptoms that are very similar to Alzheimer’s and make the incorrect diagnosis without seeking further testing. This leads to incorrect treatment and a potential worsening of symptoms for the patient.
A misdiagnosis can lead to a worsened medical condition and other harm. Patients who have been affected by such an error may want to discuss their options with a medical malpractice attorney.