Expanding Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s
A diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other form of dementia can be a critical factor in a will contest. Unfortunately, many cases go undiagnosed even when symptoms become apparent to friends and family. Furthermore, many dementia sufferers either refuse or unable to confront the issue and discuss it with their doctors. The NY Times reports that better diagnostic techniques are on the way that will more aggressively diagnose, and potentially treat, Alzheimer's:
For the first time in 25 years, medical experts are proposing a major change in the criteria for Alzheimer's disease, part of a new movement to diagnose and, eventually, treat the disease earlier. The new diagnostic guidelines, presented Tuesday at an international Alzheimer’s meeting in Hawaii, would mean that new technology like brain scans would be used to detect the disease even before there are evident memoryproblems or other symptoms. If the guidelines are adopted in the fall, as expected, some experts predict a two- to threefold increase in the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Many more people would be told they probably are on their way to getting it. The Alzheimer’s Association says 5.3 million Americans now have the disease.
Along with better diagnosis and treatments from the medical community, I hope the legal community addresses the increasing incidence of those with dementia being led to execute wills, payable on death designations, powers of attorney, and other key legal documents used to transfer assets. Texas Will Contest Lawyer