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

Peggy Zuckerman peggyzuckerman at GMAIL.COM
Wed Jul 27 16:07:53 UTC 2016


Having been involved in a small way with a re-design workshop for
Alzheimer's patients, I have become very concerned that there is no clear
way to diagnosis Alzheimer's patients.  Certainly there was no agreed upon
way to analyse the potential patients at an early time, such that
interventions can be readily administered and monitored.

My mother-in-law had Alzheimer's, or at least was treated with multiple
medications for that, yet there was never any testing or monitoring for
that, other than that which was reported by the family, and eventually, the
caregivers.  I do remember conversations which were absolutely normal,
reflecting a sense of the information, older memories, good judgement, and
then the next day she clearly did not remember that her husband had died
 10 years earlier.  Since her older sister also had some form of dementia,
it was assumed by most that this was a familial form of Alzheimers--those
the physician daughter of the sister who is a neurologist said that neither
had Alzheimer's, as per her review.

So how is Alzheimer's really recognized, and how is it differentiated from
other forms of dementia, and how that that diagnosis challenge handled in
clinical settings?
Peggy

Peggy Zuckerman
www.peggyRCC.com

On Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 6:47 AM, HM Epstein <hmepstein at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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?
>
> Best,
> Helene
>
>
> *-- *
> *hmepstein.com <http://hmepstein.com> *
> *@hmepstein*
> *Mobile: 914-522-2116 <914-522-2116>*
>
> *Sent from my iPhone*
>
>
>
> On Jul 27, 2016, at 6:03 AM, DR WILLIAM CORCORAN <
> williamcorcoran at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
> Helene,
>
> 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
> 860-285-8779
> William.R.Corcoran at 1959.USNA.com <William.R.Corcoran at 1959.usna.com>
> http://www.linkedin.com/in/williamcorcoranphdpe
> https://www.box.com/shared/kfxg1lt9dh
>
>
>
> On Tuesday, July 26, 2016 8:45 PM, HM Epstein <hmepstein at GMAIL.COM
> <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."
>
> http://jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2016-07-26/story/mayo-study-finds-men-alzheimers-are-misdiagnosed-more-often
>
> Best,
> Helene
> hmepstein.com
> @hmepstein <https://twitter.com/hmepstein>
> Mobile: 914-522-2116
>
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Moderator: David Meyers, Board Member, Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine


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