(CBS) – Here is something families need to know: Older patients are sometimes being misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s when they actually have a condition that’s totally treatable.
Helen Wiley was having trouble walking, her memory wasn’t the best and she had urinary incontinence.
These three symptoms, on their own, could be due to a variety of things, including Parkinsons disease.
Together, they could be due to a condition called Normopressure Hydrocephalus, or NPH, a buildup of fluid in the brain.
The treatment for NPH is surgery. A shunt is placed in the brain and the tube runs down into the abdomen where the fluid is reabsorbed.
Helen had her operation in December. Her incontinence has gone away and her walking is better. She and her family have big plans for summer.
“I hope i can go to the beach in June,” she says.
Her family says they wish she could have had the surgery sooner.