Dementia care services in Texas and throughout The United States have been seeing an increase in individuals suffering from a little-known variation of Alzheimer’s disease called PCA. The disease, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, is likely not a new illness but one that has been recently discovered and is only now making its full presence known.
While PCA is medically similar to Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms can be dramatically different and much younger individuals have to worry about contracting it.
What is Posterior Cortical Atrophy?
Posterior Cortical Atrophy (also called Benson’s syndrome) is considered to be an atypical form of Alzheimer’s disease. Victims develop amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles—both present in “normal” Alzheimer’s disease—in the occipital lobe of their brains. While “normal” Alzheimer’s affects the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes (responsible for behavior regulation, memory, and language skills) PCA can affect the vision as well.
It’s not a form of blindness nor does it affect the eyes themselves. Instead PCA results in the progressive disruption of complex visual processing within the brain itself.
Symptoms of Posterior Cortical Atrophy
The primary symptom of PCA is a decrease in the ability to perceive and process visual stimulus. In advanced cases individuals suffering from PCA may suffer from one or more of the following:
- Have difficulty recognizing familiar people or objects
- Lose the ability to navigate from place to place (even within their own homes)
- Suffer from visual hallucinations
Beware of Misdiagnosis
Because PCA is relatively unknown in the medical field (except among dementia care professionals) it can often be misdiagnosed as a variety of other conditions. Patients suffering from Post Cortical Atrophy are often told they’re suffering from:
- Anxiety Disorder
Some of these misdiagnoses can result in improper treatments such as the use of unnecessary ant depressive medications and unnecessary surgical procedures.
One of the reasons many people aren’t correctly diagnosed is that PCA is usually diagnosed in individuals between 55 and 65 year old whereas Alzheimer’s typically affects people 65 and older. (In fact, the world renowned author Terry Pratchett was diagnosed with PCA in his early fifties.)
Dementia Care Service in Texas Familiar with PCA
The Posterior Cortical Atrophy Support Group (based in The UK) warns that individuals with PCA may have significantly different needs than a “typical” Alzheimer’s patients. It’s absolutely essential that those needs be specifically addressed with dementia care service providers.
Second Family Home Care provides in-home dementia care across Texas. Our caring and experienced professional care providers are familiar with multiple forms of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and even PCA. We can provide non-medical support on an as-needed basis to families dealing with a difficult PCA diagnosis.
Help your loved ones maintain their pride and independence. Learn how Second Family’s dementia care services in Texas can help them live in their own homes longer. Schedule a no-obligation consultation. Call 972-347-0700 today.
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