It seems the symptoms of dementia are quite random than one would normally imagine. Johnathan Rohrer, a dementia specialist at University College London, says that doctors are misdiagnosing people with dementia because the symptoms do not mostly relate to memory loss.
He says, “There are quite funny symptoms that people by and large don’t think of as dementia and therefore don’t think that could be the problem.” Because of which many men, who come to their doctor hoping to find some answers to their symptoms, are sent home saying they are suffering from ‘midlife crisis’ since their symptoms such as loss of motivation or loss of interest in relationships can relate to midlife problems as well.
A recent study, conducted by researchers of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, also suggested that dementia in men has been diagnosed correctly only 78% of the time. Since men were likely to show symptoms other than memory loss, such as difficulty of movement and speech, it is suggested that doctors often misdiagnosed them more so than with female patients. The study examined 1,606 autopsies of patients who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after death, indicating inconsistencies with clinical diagnosis.
This is what Jonathan Rohrer wants to avoid. Misdiagnosing of dementia is dangerous since it keeps the patient away from receiving treatment for his symptoms. Therefore, he warns general physicians to take note of sporadic changes in behaviour and other odd symptoms that exist besides memory loss into account when the next person comes into their clinic for a consultation.