The thought of Alzheimer’s disease does not cross your mind unless it affects someone you love. Most of the information people have today about it is through fabricated sources like news, and its different portrayals in movies and on TV. In the recent years, several myths about this disease have come into the picture that has led to many misinterpretations. Alzheimer’s is a progressive and degenerative brain disease that can affect anyone. This article is an effort to refute such myths that come in the way of our ability to understand and help people suffering from this condition.
Myth 1: My Mother cannot have Alzheimer’s as she never forgets anything
Alzheimer’s disease removes the new information from the mind or the recent experiences first. The old memories of growing up, places or names, may last for some time and do not get erased until the second stage of the disease starts. Thus, Alzheimer’s does not lead to immediate memory loss.
Myth 2: If you live long enough, then you will get Alzheimer’s
It is a known fact that people start forgetting things after they enter the middle age. Everyone cannot possibly get a brain disorder that majorly affects cognition (thinking ability), along with memory, judgment, and eventually personality and behavior. All these symptoms represent Alzheimer’s.
Myth 3: Only old people can get Alzheimer’s
According to statistics, most of the Alzheimer’s patients are more than 65 years of age with half of them being older than 85. Some people get affected by this condition as early as in their 30s, which is called the ‘early-onset Alzheimer’s’ and is an extremely rare scenario.
Myth 4: Alzheimer’s symptoms are not detected by most patients
Whether the patients are young or middle aged, they do realize that something is terribly wrong. They may not necessarily know that it is Alzheimer’s, but they do realize that they are facing recurrent memory lapses. They may also understand that they find it difficult to do familiar day-to-day tasks, such as cooking their favourite dish or remembering their son’s birthday.
Myth 5: Alzheimer’s is genetic
If one of your relatives has Alzheimer’s then it may increase your risk slightly, but the role of genetics is still not proven. Only if you inherit APOE-e4 from (a risk gene) one or both parents, then there is a chance of getting affected. It is important to visit a special lab and run blood tests, and seek guidance of a genetic counselor to be sure.
There is no treatment available for Alzheimer’s today, but there are medications in the market to relieve some of the harsh symptoms. Regular medications will surely bring in some relief to you.