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Is It Alzheimer’s or Another Illness?

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How Other Illnesses Can be Misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's in Seniors in Nashville, TN

Cognitive malfunction is not a normal symptom of aging. However, the problem may not be Alzheimer’s or another dementia-related disease. Nashville, TN, home care providers understand that many conditions can lead to cognitive problems if left undiagnosed and treated. Below are a few conditions that are commonly mistaken for Alzheimer’s.


Anemia occurs from blood loss, problems with red blood cell manufacturing or nutritional deficits. In the event that the blood does not contain a sufficient amount of red blood cells, iron and oxygen supplies become depleted, which could lead to cognitive symptoms. 

Cardiovascular Disease or Stroke

Irregular heart rhythm, vascular blockages or other problems involving the heart or vascular tissue may interfere with cognitive ability due to blood circulation interference and a lack of circulating iron and oxygen. This is also the case for seniors who receive post-stroke care in Nashville as the damage sustained to the brain could also cause cognitive problems.

Hearing Impairment

An older adult who begins losing his or her hearing have difficulty discerning speech, which may cause symptoms that mimic dementia. He or she may seem confused, forgetful or attempt to keep up with conversations by making inappropriate comments. A senior may withdraw socially or exhibit signs of depression. Researchers from John Hopkins explain that the problem may cause an overload in the brain in an effort to interpret the sounds around the affected person. 

Medication Side Effects

Many different OTC and prescription medications have the potential to interfere with cognitive functions. These medications include: 

  • OTC and prescription drugs used to treat allergies, cold or flu symptoms
  • OTC or prescription formulations used as sleep aids
  • OTC and prescription medications that stop diarrhea
  • Prescription anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications
  • Prescription formulations for migraine headaches 
  • Prescription narcotic pain relief formulas

Metabolic Abnormalities

Older adults may display appetite loss, behavioral changes, confusion or sleep disturbances in the presence of conditions related to electrolyte imbalances, liver, pancreas or kidney disease, high or low blood sugar from diabetes. 

Untreated Infections

Attention deficits, confusion or disorganized thinking might be the result of an infection. Upper and lower respiratory tract infections and urinary tract infections are often equated with causing symptoms that include cognitive impairment. 

If it turns out your loved one does have Alzheimer’s, he or she will benefit from hiring Home Care Assistance of Nashville, Tennessee. We provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s home care Nashville families trust to help their loved ones manage daily tasks safely in the comfort of home. Contact us today at [hca_phoen] to learn more about our cognitive care and how it benefits our clients.