Half of people who develop Alzheimer's disease before the age of 60 are initially misdiagnosed as having other kinds of brain disease when they do not have memory problems, according to a new study.
The researchers reviewed the cases of 40 people having Alzheimer's from the Neurological Tissue Bank-University of Barcelona-Hospital Clinic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona, Spain, and also checked information about the age at which the symptoms began and family history.
The study found that about 38 percent experienced initial symptoms other than memory problems, such as behaviour, vision or language problems and a decline in executive function, or the ability to carry out tasks.
People with atypical symptoms and no memory problems were mainly diagnosed with other types of dementia. Of those with unusual initial symptoms, 47 percent were still incorrectly diagnosed at the time of their death.
"People who develop early onset Alzheimer's disease often experience these atypical symptoms rather than memory problems, which can make getting an accurate diagnosis difficult," said study author Albert Llado, MD, PhD, with the Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders Unit, Hospital ClĄnic of Barcelona and the Institute of Biomedical Investigation August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), in Barcelona, Spain.
The research is published in Neurology. (ANI)