November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, and it’s important to be aware of the many myths surrounding the disease in order to better understand how it impacts people.
Myth: All Memory Loss is natural as we Age
As we get older, some degree of memory problems is normal -- such as misplacing frequently used objects, retelling stories multiple times, and forgetting the names of new people you meet. However, the degree of degeneration present in people with Alzheimer’s is the result of brain cells malfunctioning and eventually dying, and it’s often much more severe than common memory issues.
Myth: Using Almuninum containers to drink or cook from causes Alzheimer’s
There is a plethora of misinformation surrounding things that may cause Alzheimer’s. The aluminum theory arose during the 1960’s and 70’s, when some research suggested it may cause memory issues. The studies in question have repeatedly failed to replicate, and research has moved in other directions. There is no evidence to suggest using aluminum in cans, pots, or other household objects has any effect on Alzheimer’s development.
Myth: Flu Shots Cause Alzheimer’s
It’s unclear where this myth arose from, but it is unsupported by any medical evidence. In fact, there are a number of studies that suggest the opposite is true and that getting your flu shot may help to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Myth: There is a Cure Available
There are unfortunately no curative treatments available for Alzheimer’s, though there are therapies that may help to slow disease progression and greatly improve quality of life. As research continues, there are new discoveries made all of the time such as Aducanumab, a relatively new drug aimed at changing the underlying biology of the disease in order to prevent progression.
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