Mayo Clinic study finds men with Alzheimer's are misdiagnosed more often than women

HM Epstein hmepstein at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 27 13:47:35 UTC 2016

Well, Bill, that's a good question that the article didn't address. It does say that men may contract Alzheimer's earlier than women do and that it impacts memory less frequently in men than it does women, hence the diagnostic difficulty. It also says that the disease progresses more rapidly in men than women. 

So I'll make an educated (though not medical school educated) guess based on those elements. 

When a man in his 60s with rapidly progressive Alzheimer's is not diagnosed it causes great harm to the wife, and other family members. According to the researcher, in addition to memory loss, Alzheimer's is associated with "language impairment, motor disfunction, behavioral issues and apathy". Behavioral issues include being argumentative and the disease often leads to violent tendencies. Being friends with some spouses of Alzheimer's patients, I can't imagine them having survived even the early symptoms without knowing why their husband or wife was acting so erratically. As one girlfriend told me when her husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's, "At least now I know why he was being such an a-----e."

While there's no cure for Alzheimer's, there are treatments to mitigate some of the symptoms. And promising new clinical trials. 

As it is for most Dx errors, not having a diagnosis or having an incorrect diagnosis means a waste of time and money meeting with psychiatrists and neurologists, paying for and suffering through the side effects of the wrong meds. The expense of seeking a diagnosis wastes money desperately needed for care when the patient is no longer able to be alone. 

An early Alzheimer's diagnosis means that the family can plan and prepare, mentally, emotionally and financially for the nightmare years ahead. 

Will this study help physicians think of Alzheimer's when a male patient presents with the symptoms but without memory loss? Perhaps they might add a brain SPECT scan to the list of tests when the other tests come back negative. That's a proven way to identify Alzheimer's before waiting to autopsy the patient's brain. 

Those are my thoughts. What do the experts on this list think? Bill?


Mobile: 914-522-2116

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On Jul 27, 2016, at 6:03 AM, DR WILLIAM CORCORAN <williamcorcoran at> wrote:


What harm resulted from the inaccurate diagnosis? 

What should we get out of this article?
Take care,
Bill Corcoran

William  R. Corcoran, Ph.D., P.E.
21 Broadleaf Circle
Windsor, CT 06095-1634
William.R.Corcoran at 

On Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:45 PM, HM Epstein <hmepstein at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

"Thirty-four percent of the men with Alzheimer’s who donated their brains to the State of Florida brain bank were inaccurately diagnosed, researchers found. Only 22 percent of women with Alzheimer’s were misdiagnosed. Researchers were able to identify the donated brains as having come from people Alzheimer’s because of the presence of the tau and amyloid proteins found in the brain of someone with Alzheimer’s."

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