With the incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease, memory loss, and dementia seemingly at epidemic levels, it is now more important than ever that families of elderly nursing home patients do everything possible to diagnose, treat, and possibly reverse symptoms. The good news is that Alzheimer’s and dementia are perhaps the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses among the elderly. The National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center database found that 20% of Alzheimer’s cases may be misdiagnosed. Even on a CT scan or MRI, it’s not always possible to see definitive evidence of Alzheimer’s; most cases are diagnosed upon postmortem examination. If it’s not Alzheimer’s or dementia, it turns out that lots of factors could be causing the symptoms of memory loss and confusion.
Some symptoms to look for while trying to Reverse Dementia and Memory Loss
Let’s consider some obvious red flags. If you see any of the following signs in someone you know, please consider getting an expert medical opinion.
- Memory loss that interferes with normal day-to-day functioning. Everyone misplaces keys or forgets a list of grocery items, but when someone begins failing to remember critical daily events or processes, it’s usually a sign to look deeper.
- Planning or problem-solving becomes harder.
- Daily tasks start taking a lot longer and become more complicated, such as making coffee or using a computer.
- Confusion about time or place.
- Difficulty reading, judging distance, or figuring out colors.
- Problems with speaking or writing.
- Profound changes in mood or personality.
- Withdrawal from work or social activities.
As noted in our previous post, according to expert clinicians at the non-profit Sharp Again Naturally, the ten most common causes of dementia are:
- Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies
- Toxins in food, water, air, work/home environments
- Effects of prescription medications
- Mercury and other heavy metal toxins
- Hormonal imbalances
- Inflammation from low-level infections including mold and Lyme Disease
- Inadequate physical activity
- Prolonged stress
- Sleep and breathing problems
- Physical and emotional trauma
Add to this list such problems as mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorders), alcohol abuse, and even vision/hearing problems.
With so many different possible causes of memory loss and related issues, the only way to know whether someone truly has Alzheimer’s or dementia is to have them seen by a qualified medical expert. Only a specialist in geriatric memory disorders has the knowledge and expertise to fit together the puzzle pieces.In most cases, memory loss may result from multiple and interrelated factors, so even changing one aspect might not resolve the issue.
In the next post, we’ll look at some of the critical differences between normal aging and dementia.
As with all things medical, when in doubt, it’s always prudent to consult a qualified physician.
Attorney Wendy York of York Law Firm specializes in prosecuting elder abuse and wrongful death cases. If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance please contact Wendy today.