Depression not Dementia – Enable Law successfully represents Hampshire man who was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s for over a decade

An Older man looks out of the window
2 minute read

The specialist mental capacity law firm, Enable Law has represented Hampshire-based Martin who was suffering from severe depression that was misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease for over a decade.

In 2010 Martin visited his GP complaining of memory difficulties. He was then sent for a CT scan at his local hospital trust, the Southern Health Foundation Trust. Following the initial scan, a Consultant diagnosed him with middle cognitive impairment which can be linked to depression or early on-set Dementia. As a result of this Martin was prescribed Citalopram, a drug used to treat low mood depression and panic attacks, to help with his memory problems.

At his repeat scan in 2011 it was reported that there was a small increase in the cognitive impairment. As a result, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, prescribed medication for the disease, and was advised to cease working as a Carpenter.

Over the next couple of years Martin was seen and tested regularly at the Southern Health Foundation Trust, CT scan reports showed no unusual features, but he was continuing to receive Alzheimer’s Disease medication and support.

The years of being on the wrong medication and diagnosis took its toll on Martin and his family and unfortunately, he tried to take his own life but was unsuccessful in doing so. This triggered a series of events and in 2019 it resulted the Trust revoking his Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis.

Martin and his wife then sought legal advice from Enable Law which successfully represented them and got both Martin and his wife the compensation they needed to support them going forward. Legal Director at Enable Law, Claire Leslie a specialist mental capacity and medical negligence lawyer represented Martin.

When asked about the case Claire commented: “Martin’s case was incredibly complex as he had been on heavy medication for something he did not have while his actual condition was left unmonitored. Since the initial diagnosis in 2011 the medical support offered to him was centred on Alzheimer’s meaning his Depression was left unchecked, even though reports show he had told Consultants and Nurses of his low moods.

“We now know that his depression spiralled out of control, and we can safely say that the cause of this was the lack of support and misdiagnosis. There were so many missed opportunities to pick up on the misdiagnosis and whilst the news that Martin does not suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease was welcomed, Martin and his family lived with this for over a decade. We are proud to have secured compensation for them that will enable the family to pay for much needed mental health support going forward.

“Martin’s case stresses the importance of being listened to as a patient and just how complex mental health is. I know that the family plans to continue to raise awareness on the issues highlighted in this case and we have connected them with charities that will support them.”

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