Alzheimer's Disease: Facts & Myths

The Facts & Myths About Alzheimer's Disease

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It can be challenging for people suffering from Alzheimer's, along with their loved ones. These Alzheimer's facts and myths may help.

Facts & Myths About Alzheimer's Disease

1) Alzheimer’s & Dementia are the Same Thing?

Dementia is a broad term for a group of symptoms that can mean having trouble with learning and memory.  Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, one of the most common types. It accounts for only 60-80% of all cases. Other types of dementia are vascular dementia, fronto-temporal dementia, Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy Bodies. Drug side effects, brain injury, depression and alcoholism can also create dementia symptoms as well. These symptoms may get better when the conditions are treated.

2) Red Wine and Grape Juice Can Help Reverse Alzheimer’s 

While there is no vitamin, supplement, food or drug that can cure or treat Alzheimer’s, a promising anti-oxidant, called reservatrol, which is found in red grapes may have a link. Reservatrol can also be in vitamin E, vitamin C, ginkgo bilboa, B vitamins and the coenzyme Q10. While these have similar hopes at one time, none have been proven to prevent, slow the disease, lessen or reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s. Research suggests the best diet to preventing Alzheimer’s is one rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and nuts to protect your brain. But sadly, there is no silver bullet that works. 

3) Which of These Raises Your Risk of Alzheimer’s?  

Age is the number risk factor. The older you are, the more likely you are to get Alzheimer’s disease. The following, however, does not cause dementia: aluminum cans and cooking pots, flu shots, artificial sweeteners and silver dental fillings. 

4) If One of Your Parents Has Alzheimer’s, You’ll Probably Get It, Too 

While less than 5% of Alzheimer’s disease cases are true “familial” cases, Alzheimer’s is a type that runs in families.  Genes play a role, for example, if you have a parent or sibling with Alzheimer’s, you may have a higher chance of getting it.  According to research, you may lower your odds if you stay at a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise, take care of your heart and control diabetes, if you have it. Maintaining an active social life where you see friends and family and do things outside the home, lowers your risk as well. Education can also make a difference too.

5) When Does Alzheimer’s Start?

Repeating yourself, getting lost and showing fuzzy thinking skills can show up long after the process of Alzheimer’s has already begun in the brain. Researchers think that the disease causes physical changes years, or even decades, before you see symptoms. While it is normal to have a forgetful memory, a big warning sign may be forgetting too many big events or even where you are. It is normal to misplace your keys, but is not normal to put them in odd places like an oven, or accuse a spouse of taking them. 

6) What Are the Odds You’ll Get Alzheimer’s if You Live to 85?

While Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging, most people over 65 are likely to get it. And the risk doubles every 5 years after 65. Surprisingly, half of 85-year-olds don’t have Alzheimer’s, but Alzheimer’s can also start in the young as well.  For the younger-onset Alzheimer’s, a rare inherited form, symptoms can start as early as 30-50 years of age. 

7) What Protects the Brain More?

Experts don’t know if doing more mental work prevents Alzheimer’s, but it may help build your brain power and hold off memory loss. It may be better to learn new things than to fall into old habits. And it may be better to work out the brain every day—daily exercise and a busy social life may be the key to protecting your brain.

8) Who Spends More on Alzheimer’s Care?

It is those who live more than 2 hours away from loved ones will spend more than $10,000 a year just on travel, phone and paid caregivers. That’s twice as much as caregivers who live locally. Local caregivers put in more hours caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Similar Read:

What to Do When Someone Has Alzheimer's Disease?

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