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The traps of misdiagnosis.

The Traps of Misdiagnosis

More than seventy conditions can cause dementia. There are the degenerative diseases whose progression, unfortunately, cannot be arrested. The patient can be made comfortable, but treatment is different in many respects from care of Alzheimer's cases.

Many of the conditions simulating dementia can be reversed or reduced by treating the underlying medical problem. Some cases of dementia can be prevented. Toxic dementia, for example, and those caused by infections, pose hope for dedicated caretakers.

Although some cases can be ameliorated or even cured, once the brain is structurally damaged, dementia from these causes is usually permanent.

Because Alzheimer's disease has no cure at present, treatment focuses on changing the environment and adapting caregiver behavior to meet the needs of patients rather than on curing the dementia with attempts of surgery or medications.

Caretakers who deal with Alzheimer's disease patients have often been surprised by remarkable temporary changes in behavior when the subject reacts with unusual lucidity to the introduction of familiar objects.
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Title Annotation:dementia and Alzheimer's disease
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Previous Article:Misguided concern for the elderly.
Next Article:Metal vapors may cause Alzheimer-like dementia.

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