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Complexities of diagnosing dementia


Oregon residents know that getting a correct diagnosis when facing a disease that affects the brain’s function can mean the difference in getting appropriate treatment. In addition, it might affect the outcome. According to a report issued by Neurology Advisor, causation in terms of dementia is multifaceted, and determining the source is an essential part of the diagnosis.

An assistant professor at Stanford University for neurology and neurological sciences said that Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration may be commonly mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease in individuals under the age of 60. It might be responsible for up to 10 percent of dementia cases in those under that age. In addition, FTLD has several variants under this umbrella diagnosis, causing problems for practitioners.

Sixty percent of dementia cases that are related to the frontotemporal area are what used to be known as Pick’s disease. This type is further described as behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia. Called bvFTD, it displays social cognition, behavioral and personality changes that are evident early in the disease, differentiating it from Alzheimer’s disease.

Other variants of FTLD exist as well .These include primary progressive aphasia, causing difficulties in language formulation and comprehension, and semantic variant PPA. Lleft temporal lobe disease results in the inability to verbally identify objects, and right temporal lobe disease causes progressive difficulty in discerning what were familiar places and faces. Difference in imaging studies among the variants is also important for diagnosis.Another diagnostic tool is the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, which helps to differentiate FTD from Alzheimer’s.

A misdiagnosis can result in a delay in obtaining the proper treatment for the actual disease. Patients who have been harmed in this manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney to see what legal recourse they may have.