Team Advanced Medical had a great morning in Red Wing, MN walking to END Alzheimer’s. So many of us have been impacted by this disease and we want to clear up a lot of misconceptions out there!
Because someone in my family has Alzheimer’s disease, I’m going to get it.
Reality: Although genetics (family history) plays a role in the disease, only in five to seven per cent of the cases is the cause connected to genes. In these cases, the disease is the early onset Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD). Genes may also play a role in the more common, late onset, “sporadic Alzheimer’s disease” form. A person who has a parent or sibling with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease has a slightly higher risk of getting the disease.
Memory loss means Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: Many people have trouble with their memory. This by itself does not mean they have Alzheimer’s disease. When memory loss affects day-to-day function and is combined with lack of judgment and reasoning, or changes in the ability to communicate, it’s best to see a doctor to find out the cause of the symptoms.
Vitamins, supplements and memory boosters can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: Many studies have been done to see how effective products such as vitamins E, B, and C, gingko biloba, folate, and selenium may be in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The findings are mixed and inconclusive. Research in this area is ongoing.
All people with Alzheimer’s disease become violent and aggressive.
Reality: Alzheimer’s disease affects each person differently. Not everyone with the disease becomes aggressive. The memory loss and resulting confusion are often frustrating or even frightening. By learning about the disease, adapting the person’s surroundings and changing the way we communicate with the person, aggressive responses may be preventable.
People with Alzheimer’s disease cannot understand what is going on around them.
Reality: Some people with Alzheimer’s disease understand what is going on around them. Other people have difficulty. Although the disease affects each person differently, it does affect how people are able communicate and make sense of the world around them. When we assume someone does not understand, we can unintentionally hurt the person’s feelings. The person with Alzheimer’s disease is still the same person and needs to be treated with dignity and respect.