Since current studies indicate that up to 40 percent of patients living with Alzheimer's or dementia are misdiagnosed I thought this would be a good time to revisit this issue.
Are There Reversible Forms of Dementia?
By Alzheimer's Reading Room
There are many illness or diseases that can present with dementia like symptoms but are in fact treatable.
Here are 7 that you might consider talking about with your doctor. You might also want to ask for specific testing.
1. Thyroid - Sluggish Thyroid
Did you know that a sluggish thyroid can present with symptoms of memory loss that are similar to Alzheimer's.
Typically, a person may act like they are depressed and have memory problems.
- Did you know that Thyroid disease is fairly common in women over 60? Have you have your thyroid checked?
- Did you know, studies indicate that up to 1 in 4 patients in nursing homes may have undiagnosed hypothyroidism.
- Did you know that a sluggish thyroid, Hasimoto's disease mainly, can present with symptoms of memory loss that are similar to Alzheimer's. Typically, a person may act like they are depressed and have memory problems.
At least 5 readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room received a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's. The diagnosis was reversed almost immediately once they received the proper treatment for their thyroid.
Studies have shown that people with depression are at increased risk of developing dementia. Severe depression can cause dementia and can be treated.
3. Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH)
Normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain's ventricles, or cavities. It occurs if the normal flow of CSF throughout the brain and spinal cord is blocked in some way.
Elderly individuals with the condition usually have trouble with walking and bladder control before onset of dementia. Normal pressure hydrocephalus can be treated or even reversed by implanting a shunt system to divert fluid from the brain.
The symptoms of NPH usually get worse over time if the condition is not treated.
Learn more - When Alzheimer's Isn't Alzheimer's - It's a Miracle
4. Cerebral Vasculitis
Cerebral vasculitis, (CNS) vasculitis is an inflammation of blood vessel walls in the brain or spine.
It can present with dementia like symptoms, and can cause a form of dementia that may resolve when the person is treated with immune suppressants.
Infections can cause confusion, delirium, or dementia like symptoms due to fever or other side effects associated with the body’s response to a foreign entity. These symptoms can usually be resolved with proper diagnosis and treatment.
6. Nutritional Deficiencies
Nutritional deficiencies of vitamin B1 (thiamine), caused by chronic alcoholism, and vitamin B12 deficiencies can be reversed with treatment.
This is one of the most overlooked causes of dementia like symptoms. Most people over 60 years old have low reading of vitamin B12 when tested. This problem is easily corrected.
More than 200 readers have emailed me after reading articles here on B12. They informed me that a simple test resulted in this problem being identified and treated.
You can add Vitamin D to this category.
7. Metabolic Problems
Metabolic Problems low blood sugar levels (called hypoglycemia), and low or high levels of sodium, or calcium also may also cause dementia like symptoms; and if not treated correctly can lead to dementia.
It would be wise to discuss this article with your doctors.
Has your doctor ruled out all of these as a possible cause of dementia?
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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR).
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