When it comes to the public perception of Alzheimer’s disease, it is shrouded in misinformation and rumor. This is especially true when we talk about understanding the symptoms and the causes of this disease. In order to help people have a better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, we want to offer a few of the most common misconceptions.
Myth #1 – Memory loss is a part of aging
There is no denying that one of the symptoms of getting older may be memory loss. Yet this should be a gradual process, considering that our cells are slowly eroding. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease do not necessarily occur, even if memory loss increases with age. It may be normal to have a delay in retrieval of information, but the type of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not “simple signs of aging.”
Myth #2 – People with Alzheimer’s disease are oblivious to their symptoms
Especially in the beginning stages of the disease, most people who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease are very much aware of the fact that something is not right. Even if they are not sure all of the time, they realize that something is wrong some of the time. People with Alzheimer’s disease often recognize that they have a memory gap. It is true that the symptoms worsen as the disease progresses, but trouble doing familiar tasks and memory lapses are very disruptive in that person’s life.
Myth #3 – My parent remembers stuff – it cannot be Alzheimer’s disease
This shows a misunderstanding of what Alzheimer’s disease is and does. It affects the ability to retain recently learned information and it affects recent memories. The person may have a vivid recollection of past memories. Oftentimes the longer-held memories do not begin to diminish until Alzheimer’s disease has further progressed.
Remember that Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disease, within a complex system. Sometimes patients who live with Alzheimer’s disease have good days and sometimes they have bad days. This is what makes it exceedingly difficult to diagnose the disease.
Myth #4 – Alzheimer’s only affects the elderly
Even though most people with Alzheimer’s disease are over the age of 65, people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s have had issues with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Around 10 percent of the Alzheimer population is early-onset cases. This is not to say that elderly people are not MORE affected, but young people are also afflicted.