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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is it really Alzheimer's or something else


Many people assume that if an older person becomes forgetful and can no longer deal with some of the basic activities of daily living, he or she must have Alzheimer’s disease.

A sad case in point: My father’s internist diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease last year (my father was then 80) and prescribed medication that didn’t seem to help at all. It wasn’t until I took my father to a neurologist that we learned he actually had a benign brain tumor that was affecting his memory and behavior. With that as a backdrop, what are some other brain diseases that may be mistaken for Alzheimer’s?

I cannot tell you how many times I have recommended to someone to go beyond their personal physician and get a neurological consult. They rarely follow through which never stops amazing me.
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Source Johns Hopkins Health Alert

Questions About Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia, the diminution of multiple cognitive abilities occurring in normal alertness, can be caused by numerous factors. These include space-occupying brain lesions (tumors, collections of blood called subdural hematomas, and abscesses); infection (meningitis, encephalitis, syphilis, to name a few); impaired cerebral spinal fluid flow causing normal pressure hydrocephalus; metabolic and endocrine abnormalities (too much or too little thyroid hormone or cortisol are examples); radiation to the brain; brain trauma; stroke; and medication side-effects. Severe depression can also cause dementia. This is why medical, neurologic, and psychiatric assessments are essential parts of the initial evaluation of dementia.

Bob DeMarco is a citizen journalist, blogger, and Caregiver. In addition to being an experienced writer he taught at the University of Georgia , was an Associate Director and Limited Partner at Bear Stearns, the CEO of IP Group, and is a mentor. Bob currently resides in Delray Beach, FL where he cares for his mother, Dorothy, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He has written more than 500 articles with more than 11,000 links to his work on the Internet. His content has been syndicated on Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, Pluck, Blog Critics, and a growing list of newspaper websites. Bob is actively seeking syndication and writing assignments.


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