Healthy Living

Misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's for a Decade

Michael Ellenbogen is in the same position as he was 10 years ago

In October, just a few months after receiving the news, Ellenbogen wrote an essay for the Washington Post that not only announced the fact that he didn’t have Alzheimer's but, also put the spotlight on the uncertainty that many patients face when dealing with dementia.

In his musings, he emphasized the importance of being able to take advantage of all the tools available. Ellenbogen’s new reality is back to where he was when he was 39. He doesn’t know if he has a number of different forms of dementia or maybe even one that hasn’t been discovered yet. What he does know is that he does not have Alzheimer's at this time. 

One theory is that he could be categorized as someone having a non-Alzheimer’s pathophysiology, known as SNAP.  An estimated one-fourth of adults over the age of 65 have symptoms of SNAP.  In Ellenbogen's case, he has SNAP and mild cognitive impairment, which actually puts him at a higher risk for progressive dementia. Only time will tell.