New Mexico patients may be interested to learn that, based on two studies, about 20 percent of Alzheimer’s patients may be misdiagnosed, causing undue stress for those who may not actually be suffering from Alzheimer’s. Getting a correct diagnosis is incredibly important as a delayed diagnosis can prevent a person from receiving treatment as early as possible.
In one of the studies, researchers found that men were more likely to be misdiagnosed than women. There may be a couple reasons for this. For example, the male participants tended to be younger when they developed Alzheimer’s. Additionally, the disease seemed to affect different areas of men’s brains than women’s brains. As such, men and women may experience different symptoms. For example, men may experience behavioral changes and language difficulty while women may experience memory problems.
In another study, researchers discovered that there was an inconsistency between the clinical diagnoses and autopsy diagnoses. Approximately 11 percent of the deceased patients who had been incorrectly diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s actually had other dementia conditions, such as brain atrophy, Parkinson’s disease dementia and vascular dementia. Additionally, another 11 percent who were not diagnosed with Alzheimer’s were found to have it during the brain autopsy.
A doctor’s failure to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease can prevent people from seeking treatment that could preserve their quality of life and give them the opportunity to put their affairs in order. If a patient was harmed as a result, a medical malpractice attorney may assist with seeking compensation for any damages that were directly related to the doctor’s negligence.