There are a number of reasons why Alzheimer’s is one of the most destructive diseases of the aged.
It causes brain cells to break down and eventually die. It takes away a person’s independence, their memories and their livelihood. As it progresses, Alzheimer’s only gets worse. It leaves no survivors.
Now that we understand what Alzheimer’s is let’s talk a little bit about what it isn’t. Freedom Home Care provides a list of common myths and misconceptions below.
Only Seniors Develop Alzheimer’s
According to alz.org, about 5.5 million people over 65 are suffering from Alzheimer’s while roughly 200,000 people under the age of 65 experience an early onset of the disease. Some have even been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as early as 35 years old. And this remains true whether or not a loved one is receiving Alzheimer’s services from a professional home care agency.
It’s clear based on these statistics, that dementia is a condition that doesn’t discriminate based on age, class or income.
Memory Loss is the First Sign of Alzheimer’s
It makes perfect sense that the very first sign of Alzheimer’s would be loss of memory. But according to researchers, this is not the case. The build up of tau protein (and/or beta amyloid) in the brain that occurs years before symptoms appear – is actually one of the initial indicators of memory loss and dementia.
While the discovery of these protein deposits is a definite sign of the disease, scientists are still unsure about what actually causes it.
Brain Training Is an Effective Method of Prevention
Over the years there have been numerous studies pointing to various brain exercises that claim to reduce the effects of dementia. Unfortunately, none of them have been shown to be conclusive. There are certain traits and conditions that many people have that make them more susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s.
While it may not be an effective way to prevent dementia, it’s worth mentioning that brain training, along with exercise and a proper diet are all great ways to maintain the healthiest and fullest life possible.
Aluminum Causes Alzheimer’s
About 50 years ago, doctors thought aluminum was a contributor to Alzheimer’s because tests showed large amounts in the brain of patients who had the disease. But researchers now know that’s no longer true. Alzheimer’s is the result of an unhealthy build up of toxic proteins in the brain. Even if we used pots and pans every day, our bodies wouldn’t absorb enough of the element to lead to dementia.
Certain Treatments Can Stop Progression
There is no treatment that currently stops, slows or delays the progression of Alzheimer’s. Several FDA-approved drugs have been shown to help relieve symptoms for some patients. These treatments are used to help improve language skills, thinking, memory and behavioral issues.