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Misdiagnosis of psychosis in Alzheimer's patients

As West Virginians age, our health concerns often increase. This is because we are no longer young and as active as we once were. Because of this, some elderly individuals are diagnosed with a wide array of conditions, causing them to take a multitude of medications. While they are often accurate and necessary, others might be erroneous and harmful to one's health, if patients are misdiagnosed.

According to current research, individuals living with Alzheimer's, who are also experiencing psychosis, which includes hallucinations, are five times more likely to have a diagnosis of dementia with Lewy bodies in comparison to those who do not.

Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia. It is characterized by protein deposits in the brain. Dementia with Lewy bodies is caused by the buildup of abnormal protein aggregate found in the nerve cells in the brain. Although various treatments are still in the process of being developed, it is clear that the treatment is different for each of these conditions.

According to researchers, Alzheimer's disease was misdiagnosed 24 percent of the time. False positives and false negatives occurring around 12 percent of the time. Prior research had suggested that the misdiagnosis rate for Alzheimer's ranged from 12 to 23 percent.

While psychosis can be a symptom, it is also considered a feature in dementia. This includes Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Because of this, treatment providers can be a bit more hesitant to diagnose a person presenting symptoms of delusions or hallucinations with Alzheimer's disease.

If you or a loved one has suffered a misdiagnosis, you might have legal recourses available to you. If a negligent medical professional has caused you to suffer a worsened condition or a new medical condition, a medical malpractice suit could hold them accountable while also helping with the collection of compensation for losses and damages suffered.

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