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Misdiagnosing Alzheimer's disease

Pennsylvania residents who have elderly parents or who are aging themselves may be interested to learn that approximately one in five Alzheimer's cases may actually be misdiagnosed. This is because there is no test that can provide a 100 percent accurate diagnosis. For those who are misdiagnosed, the stress and delays in treatment for other disorders can be detrimental.

Accurately diagnosing Alzheimer's is extremely important as there are certain drugs available that can delay the disorder's progress and preserve the person's quality of life for a longer time. If they are given enough time, people can be put into clinical trials to see if the drugs will work for them. Additionally, they have the ability to figure out their finances and future care as the disease advances.

Alzheimer's and other dementia disorders can be difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons. First, the disease seems to develop at different ages for men and women. Different areas of the brain seemed to be affected as well, with men generally showing behavioral symptoms and language difficulty while women often have the classic loss of memory. Those who were misdiagnosed potentially suffered from other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia or Parkinson's disease dementia.

If a doctor error results in a misdiagnosis, the patient could potentially suffer a worsened condition especially if the misdiagnosis causes a delay in treatment of the actual disease. Those who have found themselves harmed in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see if any legal recourse is available.

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