Although Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, there are many misconceptions and myths about the condition. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that causes memory loss. The disease progresses slowly, with symptoms worsening over time. In the early stages, those with Alzheimer’s may change personality, experience mood swings, and become depressed or irritable. They typically begin to lose interest in activities and people, including loved ones. In the later stages, your elderly loved one grows less aware of their environment, and their ability to function physically decreases. Eventually, they will require full-time care. The cause for Alzheimer’s is unknown, and there is no cure. Here are the top 5 misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s disease.
Early Treatment can Reverse the Disease
While there are specific treatments that can help combat Alzheimer’s symptoms, there is no current way to stop or slow down the disease itself. There are also no supplements, diets, or regimens that claim to cure it. There are five FDA-approved medications to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms: donepezil (Aricept), galantamine (Razadyne), memantine (Namenda), rivastigmine (Exelon), and tacrine (Cognex). These medications aid with thinking, memory, language skills, and some behavioral problems. But they do not work for everyone. If they do help, the relief is usually temporary as it lasts six to twelve months.
Alzheimer's Disease is Genetically Inherited
This misconception is somewhat true. Researchers found that genetics does play a part. But, new research has discovered a link to health conditions and lifestyle choices. For instance, head trauma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease are some examples of possible factors. Researchers state that healthy aging strategies, like weight control and exercise, may decrease the chances of getting Alzheimer’s.
A Normal Part of the Aging Process
Some memory loss is a normal part of aging. But Alzheimer’s symptoms are not. It is normal to forget where your keys are from time to time. However, if you fail to drive to a place you have been many times, it points to a more severe issue. Unlike the mild memory loss that can occur with aging, Alzheimer’s disease takes a gradual toll on the brain. As the condition gradually worsens, it takes away someone’s ability to function.
Causes Rapid Loss of Communication Ability
Generally, the disease’s progress is gradual, and the individual concerned will slowly lose spoken language skills. In the early stages, there will be difficulty remembering the names of objects and expressing thoughts. A rapid deterioration in language skills may be due to some other causes. It is only severely progressed dementia that can lead to loss of the ability to speak.
Alzheimer's Disease is Not Fatal
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Most people live eight to ten years after they are diagnosed. Your loved one can forget to eat or drink or have trouble swallowing, which can lead to a severe shortage of nutrients. They can also develop respiratory problems, and that can lead to pneumonia, which is often deadly. Additionally, the high-risk behaviors that sometimes stem from Alzheimer’s, like wandering into dangerous situations, can be fatal.
Learn More Today
You deserve the peace of mind knowing your loved one is in a loving, caring environment. At Courtyard Manor, we offer assisted living and memory care for those with Alzheimer’s. Visit our website to learn more today!