Misdiagnosis of Dementia


About misdiagnosis: When checking for a misdiagnosis of Dementia or confirming a diagnosis of Dementia, it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Dementia may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Dementia. For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.

Alternative diagnoses list for Dementia: For a diagnosis of Dementia, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Dementia:

Dementia as an alternative diagnosis: The other diseases for which Dementia is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Dementia: It is natural to lose some mental acuity as you age. Think of your brain as a computer, with megabytes of information added each year, year after year. Unlike a computer, however, we canít delete useless information. So our minds can at times experience something that feels like overload, and itís easy to forget some of lifeís details. Serious memory loss, however, is more rare.1

Sometimes older people have emotional problems that can be mistaken for dementia. Feeling sad, lonely, worried, or bored may be more common for older people facing retirement or coping with the death of a spouse, relative, or friend. Adapting to these changes leaves some people feeling confused or forgetful. Emotional problems can be eased by supportive friends and family, or by professional help from a doctor or counselor. 2

Stress, anxiety, or depression can make a person more forgetful. Forgetfulness caused by these emotions usually is temporary and goes away when the feelings fade. However, if these feelings last for a long period of time, getting help from a professional is important. Treatment may include counseling or medication, or a combination of both. 2

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Dementia: The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Dementia:

Misdiagnosis cases for Dementia: No cases available yet.

1. excerpt from Aging - Women Getting Older: NWHIC
2. excerpt from Forgetfulness It's Not Always What You Think - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: July 1, 2003

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