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Delayed diagnosis for Alzheimer's disease can prove costly

An illness of the mind can be an insidious thing. Many such illnesses are difficult to diagnose, difficult to treat and can make it difficult for its sufferer to work. Obtaining disability benefits is generally hard no matter the injury, but having a condition that is not readily diagnosable when applying for Social Security Disability Insurance can add time and frustration to an already lengthy and complex process.

These illnesses include depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, in which extensive evidence is needed in order to qualify for benefits.

Another such disease is early-onset Alzheimer's disease. An unfortunate 5.4 million people have Alzheimer's, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation. Some doctors are reluctant to diagnose early-onset Alzheimer's, which is the clinical definition of an Alzheimer's patient under the age of 65. It can take years to properly diagnose this disabling condition.

Other illnesses can also cause memory loss and even dementia. For example, a vitamin B12 deficiency, some infections, thyroid conditions and other medical issues may complicate diagnosis. In addition, only 4 percent of Alzheimer's sufferers get it before age 65.

For someone who is unable to work because of a mental illness, life can become difficult to manage. That includes work. People who are disabled from a mental illness may be able to get help covering some basic bills such as food and shelter. Family members who suspect a loved one has a mental illness should contact an experienced SSDI attorney to help guide the disabled individual through the SSDI process.

Source: The Lima News, "Delayed Alzheimer's diagnoses common, troubling," Anita Creamer, July 23, 2013

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