Lewy body dementia is a relatively unknown disease that often is misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease or some sort of psychotic disorder. The confusion is understandable due to the symptoms being similar, which include loss of memory, difficulty with movement, changes in cognitive abilities and sleep disorders. Residents of Pennsylvania should know that the cause is much different, which typically leads to misdiagnosis.
More common than most realize
Lewy body dementia affects more people than ALS, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy combined. Former MLB pitcher Tom Seaver recently passed on partly due to complications related to Lewy body dementia. Actor and comic Robin Williams suffered from Lewy body dementia before taking his life. Despite these men being very wealthy and having access to some of the best medical care on the planet, each suffered from an improperly diagnosed condition.
Older adults most at-risk
The combination of depression, mental decline and motor functions can make matters much worse, especially when a misdiagnosis prevents effective care. There is no known cure for the affliction, which generally affects more men than women and people over age 60. The advanced age of those afflicted with Lewy body dementia can complicate diagnosis and make it much more difficult to treat effectively. Ultimately, many sufferers wind up depending on family care and generally have shortened lifespans. Upon diagnosis, many patients pass on about five to eight years after but not from Lewy body dementia.
An improper diagnosis can have extreme effects on the patient’s health and lead to malpractice claims. A Pennsylvania attorney experienced in misdiagnosis medical malpractice claims may be able to help patients harmed by doctor negligence obtain the best possible settlement.