A Misdiagnosis of Dementia

08:51 19 March in Diagnosis, doctor, Health, Medicine

In November 2016, Jacqueline Dibb and her husband Rob were told by consultants at Hull Royal Infirmary in the United Kingdom that Jacqueline had frontotemporal dementia, a neurodegenerative disease classified as the “worst” type of dementia that “makes you violent” and “lose recognition of the people around you,” according to Rob Dibb. “They said she had a life expectancy of five to seven years and that in one to two years’ time she wouldn’t recognize her family anymore,” he added.

As a result of the diagnosis, Jacqueline told one of her granddaughters, who is 12 years old, that she was very ill and would eventually get to the point where she wouldn’t recognize the little girl anymore. Jacqueline and her husband accepted the diagnosis and she began taking memantine, a drug used to treat sufferers of severe Alzheimer’s disease, after she was prescribed it.

However, in October 2017, a PET scan revealed that Jacqueline did not have frontotemporal dementia or a neurodegenerative disease and that her condition was misdiagnosed. Jacqueline’s husband has described the year of misdiagnosis as “hell” and stated, “She wasn’t only psychologically damaged but she was physically damaged by being put on the wrong drug.”

In 2015, an estimated 46.8 million people were living with dementia. This widespread neurodegenerative disease has many symptoms that also correlate with other neurological conditions, resulting in difficulty in diagnosis and high rates of misdiagnosis. A medical second opinion (MSO) from a team of leading specialists at a top-ranked research or academic hospital can confirm or modify the diagnosis and should always be sought out after a suspected dementia diagnosis, in order to obtain information on optimal treatment plans and certainty regarding the condition and its progression.

WorldCare’s MSO service has helped members confirm their diagnosis and implement optimal treatment plan recommendations for over 25 years, with around 12% of cases reviewed being neurology cases. A change in diagnosis occurs in 26 percent of cases reviewed and a change in treatment plans occurs in 75 percent of cases, giving members peace-of-mind that their healthcare is accurate, efficacious and based on the latest medical research in the world.

WorldCare’s MSO service makes a world of difference to our members, improving health outcomes and controlling healthcare costs around the world. If you are a member and would like to request service or if you are an employer, insurer, broker or TPA interested in offering our services, please contact us today.