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Are you sure it's Alzheimer's?

August 1, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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When it comes to dementia, getting the correct diagnosis as early as possible is key. But even amid new imaging and testing methods, many people who receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease could be misdiagnosed, according to two separate studies.

In one study, researchers from the Mayo Clinic-Jacksonville discovered that gender plays a role in how the disease develops, including how early it can be detected. Women, they found, tend to develop Alzheimer’s 10 to 30 years later in life than men, who tend to develop the disease in their 60s.

Another study conducted at the Neuroscience Research Program at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto studied inconsistencies between diagnoses and autopsy examinations. “Even with all the latest diagnostic methods, the discrepancy between the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and the pathological diagnosis is about 20 percent,” said senior researcher David Munoz, MD, in a news release. Almost 11 percent of those examined post mortem didn’t actually have Alzheimer’s, but did have symptoms of other types of dementia, according to their research of 1,000 Canadian cases.

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