A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can turn your life upside-down – but what if you found out that your diagnosis was false? More than 50 people are suing a Toledo, Ohio, clinic because they allege that this is exactly what happened to them.
“Like a diagnosis of cancer, a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can be devastating,” says ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork.
Shawn is still in his 30s, but he claims that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s by the Toledo Clinic Cognitive Center. At his first appointment, the woman who examined him ordered a PET scan. Two weeks later, he was notified that he had Alzheimer’s. Shawn later learned that the woman who diagnosed him was not a physician and had no license to practice medicine, he says.
“She discouraged medication, second opinions, and leaving the center, is that right, Shawn?” asks Breast Surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk. Shawn says that this was the case.
“I was devastated. As a father of four, married, and my mother’s still alive – I was worried about how it would affect them,” Shawn tells The Doctors.
Shawn sought a second and third opinion, and he says no sign of Alzheimer’s disease was found. He does have some Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy -- brain injuries related to his years of boxing and playing football.
Alzheimer’s is hard to diagnose – it’s not a matter of reading a simple lab report. Still, says Doctor on Demand Dr. Tania Elliot, “He’s in his 30s, right? Alzheimer’s disease is not top of mind for me when he’s coming into my office.”
“When you go to a clinic, make sure your doctor is actually a doctor. Make sure they’re board-certified,” Dr. Stork reminds us. And never be afraid to seek a second opinion.
The clinic involved did not have a comment when contacted by The Doctors.