Alzheimer’s Often Misdiagnosed

April 13, 2011
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Alzheimer’s disease may not be as prevalent as commonly believed. New research indicates that Alzheimer’s diagnoses often may be wrong.
In a research study, only about half of 211 study subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while alive were found during autopsies to have brain conditions commonly association with the disease.

Alzheimer’s disease may not be as prevalent as commonly believed. New research indicates that Alzheimer’s diagnoses often may be wrong.
In a research study, only about half of 211 study subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer’s while alive were found during autopsies to have brain conditions commonly association with the disease. While they did not have amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, most of the unconfirmed Alzheimer’s patients had other brain abnormalities, such as sclerosis and generalized brain atrophy.
“Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings and provide insight as to how we may more accurately diagnose and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other principal dementing disease processes in the elderly,” said researcher Lon White, MD, MPH, of the Kuakini Medical System in Honolulu. 

Given that the patients still had some sort of brain abnormality I wonder if the aggressive treatment for Alzheimer’s actually helped them in the end anyway. Or did it harm their quality of life?

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