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Yes, Alzheimer's disease is often misdiagnosed

Alzheimer's disease is a slow, degenerative disease that is often misdiagnosed. Most medical professionals skilled in eldercare or mental health should be able to identify the symptoms and take the steps necessary to identify the cause of a person's actions, whether they're odd behaviors or memory loss.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, and even treatments aren't usually effective for patients. Does a misdiagnosis really make a difference? It does, because there are drugs that can delay the progress of the disease and help individuals live with a higher quality of life. Early diagnoses can help patients plan for their end-of-life wishes now, while they're still able to do so with a clear head.

At very early stages of the disease, some drugs can help boost a person's memory and slow the progression of the disease. Patients can be added to clinical trials if they're diagnosed, allowing them to test some of the newest drugs on the market as they emerge.

Why is it hard to identify the disease? There is no real blood test or imaging scan that can show the disease for certain. It's a complex disease, but there is progress being made to identify it sooner.

Who gets misdiagnosed most often?

Usually, it's men who are misdiagnosed more often. They tend to get this disease earlier, as soon as in their 60s, while women may not develop it until their 90s. Men may also have different symptoms than women, making the disease harder to identify. Despite the difficulties, doctors should be looking for this condition and shouldn't eliminate it from their diagnostic options simply because of age or gender. If that happens, a patient could have a case for negligence.

Source: UPI, "2 in 10 Alzheimer's cases may be misdiagnosed," Steven Reinberg, accessed Sep. 29, 2016

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