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Alzheimer's disease often not correctly diagnosed

Unfortunately, many New Yorkers suffer from Alzheimer's disease. Some people are misdiagnosed each year, with some patients wrongly being told that they have the condition when they do not and others being told they do not have Alzheimer's when they do. These diagnostic failures may cause unnecessary stress and potential harm.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease, but its progression can be delayed if people are diagnosed properly and given certain medications that slow it. Getting diagnosed early can help people who suffer from the condition to enjoy a better quality of life and to get their affairs in order. Getting diagnosed early may also allow patients to participate in clinical studies with experimental drugs that could potentially help them.

Researchers from St. Michael's Hospital's Keenan Research Center for Biomedical Science in Toronto found that 20 percent of people with Alzheimer's were not correctly diagnosed, 11 percent of the people being diagnosed with the disease but not having it. Another study by the Mayo Clinic found that men were much likelier to be misdiagnosed than were women.

People who are misdiagnosed as either having or not having Alzheimer's disease may suffer serious consequences. Patients who have the disease but who are not diagnosed with it may face a shortened lifespan and a reduction of the quality of their lives. Those who are incorrectly diagnosed with having it but who don't may receive unnecessary and potentially harmful medications. A person who is harmed by a diagnostic failure may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to see how best to seek compensation from the negligent physician.

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