Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is the second on the list after cancer as the most feared disease in the United States and Europe. According to a recent survey, more than 80 percent of the respondents confirmed that they would immediately see the doctor if they experienced any memory loss or confusion to find out if it were Alzheimer's Disease.
Here are the misconceptions about Alzheimer's Disease that people should be aware of:
- Early Detection Is Possible (wrong)
About 40 percent of the respondents made the mistake of believing that a reliable test can be given to determine if a person is in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
- Only Old People Can Have This Condition (wrong)
This is the most common myth about this disease. Yes, it's true that age is the primary risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease. When this disease was first discovered in 1907 by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, the condition was discovered in a 51-year-old woman. But this doesn't mean that it's a disease only older people experience. Even young people can get affected with this condition.
- Alzheimer's Disease is a Normal Part Of Ageng (wrong)
Older people are prone to mild forms of memory loss like when they fail to remember a certain occasion, name or information. Most of them brush the memory glitch lightly and jokingly blame it on age. This is what's normal. What's not normal is when memory impairment hinders everyday functioning. This is what Alzheimer's Disease is. And it's not a normal part of growing old.
- This Disease is Not Serious (wrong)
When people think about Alzheimer's Disease, they immediately relate it to memory loss. That's because this is the main sign of this condition. Because people associate this disease with memory loss, they often overlook its severity. After all, who dies from memory loss, right? But the thing is, Alzheimer's Disease is fatal. In fact, it is the fourth leading cause of death in western countries. This is due to the gradual decline in bodily functions from seven to 10 years. Pneumonia is the frequent complication particularly for patients who are bedridden.
- You Can Only Get This If It Runs in the Family (wrong, but hereditary plays a role)
Just because no one in the family has ever suffered from Alzheimer's Disease before it doesn't mean that you're impervious to it. Yes, there is a genetic cause behind this condition and it's the Apo E4 gene, which shoots your risk up to four times. But other genetic causes are rare. This means two things: even though you have AD in the family, you don't automatically get it, and even if you don't have this in the family, it's still possible for you to develop it later in life.
- Flu Vaccines Increase the Risk of Alzheimer's Disease (wrong)
There is no proof to this claim. Some say that the mercury and aluminium content in flu vaccine can increase the risk of this disease but these are actually not associated with AD.