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What conditions could lead to a dementia misdiagnosis?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Dementia is a horrible health condition that typically impacts older adults. It causes changes in the brain that completely alter a person’s personality and ability to remember even simple things.

While dementia is common, in some cases, a diagnosis is a mistake. This misdiagnosis happens because other health conditions can mimic the signs of dementia.

Dehydration can cause confusion

Dementia often involves confusion, especially in the early stages. Confusion may actually be the one sign that prompts someone to get help. However, dehydration can also cause this symptom, and it is very common for older adults to suffer from this condition. Not getting enough water throughout the day or the body having an issue retaining water can easily lead to dehydration. Rehydrating and treating underlying causes is the best treatment.

Urinary tract infections can alter personality

A urinary tract infection can greatly alter a person’s personality and the way they act, which are also hallmarks of dementia. However, with a UTI, the changes usually happen very fast. Dementia takes time for this to manifest. Simple antibiotics can clear up a UTI.

Respiratory infections can mess with memory

A respiratory infection could lead to forgetfulness and may also cause orientation issues, which are also symptoms of dementia. However, a respiratory infection will go away with medicine and care. Like with a UTI, the symptoms come on suddenly, which helps distinguish them from dementia.

A misdiagnosis of dementia could lead to the real condition progressing and causing complications. It is essential for doctors to fully evaluate a patient to rule out other health issues.

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