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Maybe It Isn’t Alzheimer’s: 10 Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia

If your loved one is showing signs of dementia it’s critical to take them to a doctor as soon as possible. First, because if it is Alzheimer’s, treatment works best if started early. The other reason is that a small number of people showing signs of Alzheimer’s actually have something else, and some of those other conditions can be treated or even reversed.

Conditions that can masquerade as Alzheimer’s include things such as underactive thyroid, vitamin deficiencies, too much calcium in the blood, syphilis that has spread to the brain, severe clinical depression, delirium, certain viral or bacterial infections, lead and mercury poisoning, schizophrenia, and a rare condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH).

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3 Responses to “Maybe It Isn’t Alzheimer’s: 10 Conditions That Can Mimic Dementia”

  1. Marsha from Overland Park, KS says:

    Thanks so much for this list. I’ve just been assuming my mother is getting Alzheimer’s. But now I’m going to convince her to go to a doctor. I just hope and pray that it’s something treatable and NOT Alzheimer’s.

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  2. David from San Francisco says:

    I just had my father to a neurologist who, unfortunately, ruled out ALL of the conditions in your list. I’m very sorry to have to realize it most likely is Alzheimer’s. But thanks for this entry. It may help others.

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  3. Joyce from Cincinnati says:

    Hello, My grandfather does have Alzheimer’s, but when my grandmother started showing symptoms of the disease her doctor discovered her symptoms were actually being caused by an under-active thyroid!! We were never so happy in our entire lives. Having one close family member with Alzheimer’s is enough.

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