Alzheimer’s subtype misdiagnosed and mistreated

Email to a Friend

As many as 10 percent of people who have Alzheimer’s disease might have an often-misdiagnosed subtype that affects behavior and language much more than it affects memory, a new study found.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida studied the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients. They found that 11 percent of the brains had hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s, which is a subtype of the disease. Although the hippocampus is spared, Alzheimer’s affects other regions of the brain, which can cause behavioral problems, such as frequent angry outbursts. It also could cause speech or vision problems.

These patients often are misdiagnosed as having dementia. However, hippocampal sparing Alzheimer’s is treated best with medication that’s meant to treat Alzheimer’s, not medication to treat dementia.