Debunking the Myths: 7 Things You Should Know about Alzheimer’s

( – Alzheimer’s is one of the most misunderstood diseases, and it’s a common one — it’s a leading cause of death in America, and it affects millions. To be prepared to help a loved one experiencing Alzheimer’s, or to recognize the signs and symptoms of this disease in yourself, it’s important to know what is and is not true about this disease. Let’s learn more about common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Is Dementia

Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia are two different things, even though people often use the terms as though they are the same. Demential is a general term for conditions that cause memory, reasoning, behavior, and thinking become impaired. Alzheimer’s, however, is a specific type of dementia. People often confuse the terms because Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia we see and experience every day.

Alzheimer’s is Something Only Old People Get

While age is the biggest risk factor for this disease, it doesn’t mean that it’s confined to humans in their senior years. Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a thing, and it can start as young as the 30s for someone who has it. While it is rare, those diagnosed at younger ages can start treatment early.

Most people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are at least 60, and it is also a common development for people who have Down syndrome.

Alzheimer’s Means No Treatment

Medication can help people living with Alzheimer’s. While it has no cure, there have been major recent medical advancements in treating people with Alzheimer’s. There are also ways to help patients with this disease cope through behavioral changes.

Current research investigates lifestyle factors and underlying causes of the disease.

Forgetfulness Always Means Alzheimer’s

Many people worry that their forgetfulness means they are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease, but that isn’t necessarily true. Lack of sleep, stress, and dozens of other medical conditions, including depression, can negatively affect a person’s memory. Cognitive issues develop due to a variety of causes, and sometimes, these issues can be reversed.

Alzheimer’s Disease is Totally Preventable

In fact, Alzheimer’s cannot be totally prevented. However, you can reduce your risk for experiencing the disease or slowing its progress. You can’t control your genes, but healthy lifestyles (including good diet and exercise) can minimize risk. To do this, maintain a healthy blood pressure, avoid head injuries, use hearing aids if needed, get plenty of rest, and keep your mind and body fit. Mind that waistline, too!

No One Gets an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Until They Die

In the past, it wasn’t possible for doctors to diagnose this disease until after death, via an autopsy. However, now there are biomarker tests, which have been around for decades. Those, combined with imaging and lab tests, can reveal signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, including a protein that people have, indicating the disease.

Aluminum Will Give You Alzheimer’s Disease

There’s a theory going around that you can get Alzheimer’s Disease from aluminum exposure. A commonly found metal in our environment, aluminum is sometimes present in or near humans and our food. Researchers are still researching whether this particular metal has an impact on whether a person could develop the disease. Other environmental factors may indeed play a role.

If you think you may have Alzheimer’s or if you are concerned about a loved one, it may be time to speak with a doctor. While a cognitive issue may or may not be Alzheimer’s, it’s important to get checked to start appropriate treatments early and prevent other issues such as possible seizures, which can be present with memory loss.

Copyright 2024,