Greater than six million People of all ages have Alzheimer’s, and each 67 seconds, somebody in America develops the illness, in line with Monica Moreno, senior director of care and assist on the Alzheimer’s Affiliation in Chicago.
Regardless of the prevalence of this most widespread type of dementia — anticipated to have an effect on 12.7 million folks by 2050 — specialists say that many misconceptions stay.
Listed below are a number of the commonest myths about Alzheimer’s illness, in line with dementia specialists — and the truths.
Fable No. 1: ‘Reminiscence loss and getting Alzheimer’s are a part of growing older’
As folks age, their brains and our bodies change, famous Lakelyn Hogan Eichenberger, PhD, a gerontologist and care advocate for Dwelling As a substitute in Omaha, Nebraska.
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“As we age, we’ll all are inclined to expertise modifications in our brains,” she mentioned, “comparable to slower processing pace, hassle multitasking, occasional challenges with phrase retrieval, decreased capability to be taught new data rapidly, and delicate reminiscence modifications like forgetting names of the place you positioned an merchandise.”
Greater than six million People of all ages have Alzheimer’s — and each 67 seconds, somebody in America develops the illness, in line with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation. (iStock)
But when this stuff grow to be frequent — or in the event that they improve in severity and also you begin to discover a sample — it could possibly be an indication of Alzheimer’s illness or one other type of dementia, Eichenberger mentioned.
“Additionally, if reminiscence loss begins to disrupt each day life, that’s trigger for concern,” she additionally advised Fox Information Digital.
“A number of variables past genetics play a task within the growth of the illness. Environmental and life-style components additionally have an effect on an individual’s threat.”
“Further indicators of Alzheimer’s could contain difficulties with problem-solving, language expertise and judgment, in addition to modifications in persona and habits, which aren’t attribute of regular growing older.”
Fable No. 2: ‘Solely older folks get Alzheimer’s’
Whereas it’s much less prevalent, Alzheimer’s can affect folks of their 50s, 40s and even 30s, Eichenberger mentioned.
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An estimated 200,000 folks youthful than age 65 stay with younger-onset (often known as early-onset) Alzheimer’s, per knowledge from the Alzheimer’s Affiliation.
Fable No. 3: ‘Alzheimer’s and dementia are the identical illness’
Alzheimer’s is a particular illness and the most important reason behind dementia, accounting for 60% to 80% of all instances, in line with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation.
“Many various kinds of dementia exist and lots of circumstances trigger it,” Moreno of the Alzheimer’s Affiliation in Chicago advised Fox Information Digital. “Dementia is an umbrella time period describing cognitive decline critical sufficient to intervene with each day residing.”
Alzheimer’s is a particular illness and the most important reason behind dementia, accounting for 60% to 80% of all instances, in line with the Alzheimer’s Affiliation. (iStock)
Different widespread sorts embody vascular dementia, combined dementia (multiple reason behind dementia occurring concurrently), Lewy physique dementia, Parkinson’s illness and Huntington’s illness, in line with Moreno.
Fable No. 4: ‘I’ll develop Alzheimer’s illness if my dad or mum has it’
Simply because a organic dad or mum has Alzheimer’s doesn’t imply that the particular person’s youngsters will develop it, famous Eichenberger.
“A number of variables past genetics play a task within the growth of the illness,” she mentioned.
“Environmental and life-style components additionally have an effect on an individual’s threat.”
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She added, “Though we don’t but know learn how to forestall Alzheimer’s, it’s essential to observe wholesome habits, comparable to exercising recurrently and consuming a balanced weight-reduction plan.”
Fable No. 5: ‘Individuals with Alzheimer’s don’t know what’s happening round them’
These with Alzheimer’s could grow to be extra simply confused or disoriented, however they’re typically in tune with their environment, Eichenberger identified.
“It is necessary by no means to speak in regards to the particular person in entrance of them or assume they do not perceive,” she mentioned.
Individuals with Alzheimer’s could grow to be extra simply confused or disoriented, however they’re typically in tune with the environment, a health care provider identified. (iStock)
“Alter your communication model to make use of easy language and supply further time for responding. Supply corrections as strategies and keep away from explanations that sound like scolding.”
Fable No. 6: ‘An Alzheimer’s prognosis means a facility is required’
Eighty p.c of Alzheimer’s care is offered within the dwelling, not a facility, in line with the CDC.
“House is a well-known atmosphere that may assist a person residing with Alzheimer’s proceed to keep up independence,” Eichenberger mentioned. “Creating construction in constant each day routines could be comforting.”
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To cut back the chance of falls and accidents, she recommends making a protected atmosphere by putting in seize bars within the bogs, automated range shut-offs and door sensors to alert household if somebody has exited the house.
“Individuals residing with dementia can nonetheless plan forward, make objectives for the long run or discover new hobbies.”
“Hiring exterior assist, comparable to dwelling care, can present the person with further assist and the household with respite,” Eichenberger added.
Fable No. 7: ‘Alzheimer’s could be prevented’
At the moment, there is no such thing as a confirmed solution to forestall Alzheimer’s, famous Moreno, though it’s an space of sturdy analysis.
Adopting wholesome life-style behaviors, together with consuming nicely and exercising recurrently, can cut back the chance of dementia, specialists say. (iStock)
“There are, nonetheless, steps you’ll be able to take to cut back your threat of cognitive decline,” Moreno mentioned.
“These embody adopting wholesome life-style behaviors, together with consuming [well], exercising recurrently, not smoking, sustaining wholesome blood stress, managing ldl cholesterol and physique weight, and staying cognitively engaged.”
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She additionally mentioned, “Analysis means that incorporating these behaviors together could have the best profit.”
Fable No. 8: ‘An Alzheimer’s prognosis means life as I do know it’s over’
High quality of life could be maintained regardless of a prognosis, specialists agree.
Added Eichenberger, “Individuals residing with dementia can nonetheless plan forward, make objectives for the long run or discover new hobbies.”
“Individuals residing with dementia can nonetheless plan forward, make objectives for the long run or discover new hobbies,” an Alzheimer’s knowledgeable advised Fox Information Digital. (iStock)
Whereas there’s at the moment no treatment for Alzheimer’s illness, there are some medicines that might sluggish the development or quickly enhance the signs, Eichenberger famous — “however it is very important focus on them along with your well being care supplier, as they don’t seem to be proper for everybody.”
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These identified with Alzheimer’s also can have interaction in life-style modifications and cognitive stimulation to assist handle signs, she famous.
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“Individuals residing with the illness may additionally enroll in medical trials which might be exploring new therapies,” mentioned Eichenberger.
“These trials are essential for future therapies and finally, we hope, a treatment.”
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