Alzheimer’s disease is rarely just about losing memory. People with Alzheimer’s suffer from a wide range of mental and emotional problems including:
- Cognitive and thinking problems,
- And later in the disease, problems such as insomnia, hallucinations, delusions, and agitation.
Each of these should be addressed as it arises.
Since Alzheimer’s disease is diagnosed by symptoms, this can lead to mistakes in diagnosis. There are other closely related dementias that could also be causing the problems. These include:
- Frontotemporal dementia (such as Pick's disease),
- Vascular dementia,
- Lewy-body dementia, and others.
Patients can also have more than one type of dementia at the same time.
Other diseases that can be mistaken as, or are closely related to, Alzheimer’s disease are the following:
- Brain damage, from a head injury or a tumor
- Huntington's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or other so-called prion diseases
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Radiation therapy to the head
- Neuro-cognitive Lyme disease.