Don’t be Misdiagnosed!

There is no cure. Those fatal words …there is no cure, can be heard from the lips of every researcher, medical professional, and caregiver across the globe. When one thinks of Alzheimer’s disease, fatal doom and gloom looms ominously overhead. There are, however, disease processes that take on characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease. Meticulously acquainting yourself with the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease is another way of determining whether or not it is Alzheimer’s disease or another disease process at work.

If there are other disease processes at work, there is a high probability that once they are treated, the signs and symptoms should go away. Keep in mind, the specific disease processes described below that have dementia type signs and symptoms, have the potential of being corrected or reversed. Always seek the professional guidance of a medical provider before diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

  1. Medication/drugs. Medication/drugs can cause one’s cognitive abilities to be confused and lead to agitation but when stopped, signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease go away. If your loved one has recently started a new medication and is showing signs and symptoms of confusion that one might associate with dementia, talk to your healthcare provider. The medication just might be the culprit.
  2. Emotional problems. Depression is commonly mistaken for dementia; particularly early on it can be very difficult to distinguish one from the other. One possible distinguishing factor is that the depressed person can usually remember recent things although they may not want to. If there is real dementia, the demented person will not be able to recall recent memory.
  3. Metabolic changes in one’s body. When we have deficiencies in key nutrients such as vitamin B12, or problems with our thyroid gland, both of these and others could lead to signs and symptoms that are like Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Impairment in our hearing and seeing. Many times as people get older they have challenges with their hearing as well as their vision. Both of these could be mistaken for a sign or symptom of dementia. Healthy aging, if one is not aware, might mistake some signs and symptoms of natural aging to Alzheimer’s disease. Impairments in hearing and seeing oftentimes are associated with a normal aging process.
  5. Brain Abnormalities. There are certain abnormalities that take place in the brain that can give the appearance of dementia. Once the abnormalities are medically diagnosed and treated, the signs and symptoms of dementia are corrected.
  6. Tumor Mass or a Sub neural Hematoma. The tumor mass or a sub neural hematoma to the brain (a form of traumatic brain injury), both of which are potentially correctable, could lead to signs and symptoms that appear to be dementia.
  7. Infection: An infection of any type could may led to a person being confused, agitated and even forgetful. Once the infection is corrected, the signs and symptoms of dementia should be gone if that is the cause of the confusion.
  8. Anemia: Anemia relates to a lowering of your blood count and consequently your body is deprived of the appropriate amount of oxygen needed by different tissues throughout your body specifically the brain. This lack of oxygen could lead to some confusion and agitation and could be mistaken for dementia. Correcting the anemia, could potentially correct the dementia like symptom.