Alzheimer’s Misdiagnosis: Study Shows Shocking Rate of Incorrect Diagnosis
Research suggests that patients with Alzheimer’s disease who experience psychosis are five times more likely to be misdiagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies than those who do not experience psychosis. The research also indicated that Alzheimer’s disease was misdiagnosed in 24 percent of all cases, compared to previous research suggesting that the rate of Alzheimer’s disease misdiagnosis ranged from 12 to 23 percent. Both false positive and false negative rates were 12 percent. About 18 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are thought to have hallucinations and about 36 percent have delusions.
“An advantage of our study is that we used the final clinical diagnosis after years of follow-up, so the rate of misdiagnosis we described is the rate under ideal conditions,” said Winni Qian, an author of the study. “This means that it should be considered a minimum. If you extrapolate that and apply it to the general population, the magnitude of the problem could be much greater.”
When concerned about accuracy of a neurodegenerative disease diagnosis, such as Alzheimer’s, an expert medical second opinion should always be obtained in order to modify or confirm the diagnosis and subsequently identify the most effective treatment plan and next steps in moving forward with management of the disease.
For over 25 years, WorldCare’s institution-based, multi-disciplinary medical second opinions have provided members with access to leading medical specialists and sub-specialists at the top-ranked hospitals of The WorldCare Consortium®. In fact, 12 percent of WorldCare’s cases reviewed have involved neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
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