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5 Myths About Alzheimer’s You Need to Stop Believing

November 1, 2016

Scientists are still hard at work determining the triggers that cause Alzheimer’s and are working even harder to find a cure. The science is still out on any definitive causes of the disease, which leaves the door open for myths to come in and mislead us on what Alzheimer’s disease is and is not. The most common myths are:

1)   Alzheimer’s is caused by flu shots, aspartame, etc.– These agents have been falsely accused of causing Alzheimer’s. Shots and vaccinations have been proven time and time again to lower your risk of contracting the diseased you’ve been inoculated again. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, has been accused of being a carcinogen despite the lack of evidence. Basically, if anyone or article is claiming that XYZ is the definitive cause of Alzheimer’s, there is no evidence to support that claim. 

2)   Alzheimer’s only affects old people – While the majority of Alzheimer’s patients consist of the elderly, Alzheimer’s can still adversely effect people in their 50s, 40s, and even 30s. Those occurrences are known as early-onset Alzheimer’s. And this may even go undiagnosed as memory loss, the most common symptom of Alzheimer’s, might be misconstrued as being caused by stress. 

3)   Alzheimer’s is a normal part of aging – There is nothing normal about Alzheimer’s disease. It destroys parts of the brain and replaces it with plaque stores that prevent neurons from transmitting, resulting in the typical symptoms you see like memory loss. Accelerated brain degeneration is not part of the aging process.

 

4)   Alzheimer’s isn’t deadly – Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. After diagnosis, most people live 8-10 more years. Side effects from the disease, like forgetting to perform basic functions, eating, breathing problems, and the like, makes living with the disease painful. 

5)   Alzheimer’s treatments slow the disease down – There are medications that can treat Alzheimer’s symptoms. These medications might help with memory, cognitive, and behavioral processes. But as of now, there are no treatments that can stop the disease in its tracks. 

These are the most common myths about Alzheimer’s that are just that: myths. The more you know about Alzheimer’s, the better prepared you will be if it unfortunately affects you or a loved one.

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