Alzheimer’s Disease Is Frequently Misdiagnosed

Many people in Connecticut who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may actually have a different type of brain condition such as brain atrophy or Lewy body dementia. By analyzing the brains of deceased people who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease while they were alive, researchers have determined that about 20 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are incorrect.

When a person is alive, there is no definitive test for Alzheimer’s disease, and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is based purely on the person’s symptoms. Despite the potential for misdiagnosis, an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is important for patients who do in fact have the disease. Patients who find out at an early stage that they have the condition may be able to take drugs that can help to delay the disease’s progress.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic conducted one of the recent studies on Alzheimer’s disease. After looking at 1,600 brains of Alzheimer’s patients from the State of Florida brain bank, the researchers found that men are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s more frequently than women. The researchers say that reasons for the higher misdiagnosis rate may be that men develop Alzheimer’s earlier than women and their symptoms tend to be different. Alzheimer’s is found in different parts of the brain depending on whether a patient is a man or a woman.

If a patient is misdiagnosed with a serious condition like Alzheimer’s disease, he or she may be prescribed unnecessary medications that have side effects. A misdiagnosed patient may also miss out on vital treatments that they may need for the condition that they are actually suffering from. An attorney may help a patient who has been injured because of a misdiagnosis pursue compensation for damages.