Alzheimer’s Myths and Reality

Here are some myths of Alzheimer’s disease and the reality of those myths to give you a better understanding of the disease.

Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.

Reality: As you get older, it is normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s is more than just the occasional memory loss. It is a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. If you or a loved one is having memory problems or other problems with thinking and learning, contact your physician.

Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.

Reality: Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find their way home.

Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s.

Reality: Alzheimer’s can strike people as young as in their 30s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that there are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the United States. This includes 200,000 people younger than age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Myth 4: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: During the 1960s and 70s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. So don’t worry about drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in them, very few people believe that aluminum poses any threat.

Myth 5: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reality: At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms for about 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them.


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