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Lewy body dementia, a condition all too often misdiagnosed

If you know someone in Ohio who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or some psychiatric disorder, then hopefully the diagnosis was the correct one. The reason is that a particular condition called Lewy body dementia can be mistaken for any of the three conditions mentioned above.

What is Lewy body dementia?

In LBD, protein deposits called Lewy bodies begin to be deposited in brain cells, impairing the person’s memory and thinking. Symptoms include not just impaired thinking but also impaired movement, hallucinations, depression, changes in blood pressure and trouble sleeping. It is incurable, and patients live an average of five to eight years after diagnosis, dying usually from an underlying condition like infection or pneumonia.

Not an uncommon disease

LBD is far from rare, and there are more LBD patients than there are, for example, cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy victims. The total number of LBD patients in the U.S. comes to over 1.4 million, but experts say it’s probably higher due to the high risk for misdiagnosis. LBD can develop in young and old, even the healthiest and most fit.

One reason for the misdiagnoses is that so little is known about LBD. While more men have it than women, and while those over 60 tend to be affected, doctors have formed no idea of a “typical” patient. Nor do they know how LBD is contracted.

Finding a lawyer for your case

A misdiagnosis can lead to unnecessary treatments and avoidable suffering. In the meantime, the true condition worsens to the point where it may cause irreversible harm. If this describes your situation or that of a loved one, you may have grounds for a malpractice claim. Filing such a claim is a major undertaking, so you may want a lawyer to advise you and assist with the negotiations.

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