Alzheimer’s can be a devastating illness for patients in Ohio and their families. However, some people with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis may actually have a different form of dementia. Scientists say that the search for a cure is not affected by the discovery, but it is important to understand the differences between the two in order to learn more about how and why people develop dementia.
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, lead to a gradual inability to handle tasks and loss of mental acuity and fitness. Most people who are diagnosed with dementia are considered to be Alzheimer’s patients. However, according to one study, thousands of people are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s who are actually suffering from different forms of dementia. As a result, they may receive inappropriate medications or ineffective treatments designed to combat amyloid plaques, proteins that form in the brain and kill neurons for patients with Alzheimer’s. While these plaques can be detected with a PET scan, they cost thousands of dollars and most insurance companies do not cover the scans, especially as there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s.
The other type of dementia discovered by scientists is not linked to amyloid plaques. Instead, a protein called TDP-43 builds up deposits in the brain. Other problems with this protein are linked to degenerative diseases, including ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Around 25 percent of elderly adults over 85 have enough problems with TDP-43 in their brains to cause some level of cognitive distortion and impairment.
While there is no cure yet for dementia, misdiagnosis is common for a range of patients and can lead to a severely worsened health condition. People who have seen their disease progress due to a doctor’s error might opt to consult with Columbus, Ohio, medical malpractice injury lawyers about their options to take legal action and seek compensation.