Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic ailment that worsens over time and predominantly affects memory and other mental abilities, though it can also impair motor skills. As people age, little protein buildups in the brain known as senile plaques cause the disease to manifest.
These plaques develop and interfere with brain nerve cell connection over time, impairing cognition. Alzheimer’s has no known cure, although there are therapies that can help control several aspects of the illness and extend the lives of those who have it.
However, there are several myths about the disease, let us break them down one by one for you to understand and manage the disease effectively.
Myth- There is no treatment for Alzheimer
The medications used to treat Alzheimer’s disease have improved significantly apart from the availability of personalized dementia home care services. They can help reduce the symptoms of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, or slow cognitive decline when someone has advanced Alzheimer’s dementia.
There are also coping strategies that people can practice managing behaviors that may be troublesome for them.
Myth: Alzheimer and dementia are synonymous
As the name suggests, Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia are two separate conditions. Alzheimer’s disease is a form of neurodegenerative disease and it is characterized by loss of nerve cells in the brain. The two diagnoses have many common symptoms but they do not share any specific cause or cure.
There are several different types of dementia, each one requiring a different treatment plan. Alzheimer’s is one type of dementia that needs to be treated differently because it can require more complex changes in lifestyle than many other types of dementia.
Myth: Only older people suffer from dementia
Dementia often takes the form of Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest recognised risk factor for Alzheimer’s, however this does not always mean that only elderly people get the disease.
True, the majority of patients with Alzheimer’s have their first symptoms in their mid-60s or later. However, some people begin to exhibit symptoms much earlier, even in their thirties. Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, also known as EOAD, affects people between the ages of 30 and 60.
Myth- If I’m forgetting things, it must be Alzheimer’s disease
“Forgetting” isn’t necessarily a sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Some forgetfulness is normal as we age, such as forgetting to save something your mind knows you need to do later or remembering a friend but not their name or phone number.
For instance, a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that many people aged 65 and up report difficulty with some thinking tasks like doing math calculations.
That said, if you consistently remember less than you should from one day to the next, or consistently forget how long it takes to get somewhere even though you took the same route every day for years, you may have memory problems that need attention.
Myth- Alzheimer is preventable
There is currently no known treatment to avoid Alzheimer’s. You can take measures to lessen your risk for this illness, though. A risk factor is something that could make someone more likely to get sick. Some risk factors, like your inherited DNA, can be managed, but not others.