Myth: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
Fact: As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. However, Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss. It’s a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and ultimately die. When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to return to a home they’ve lived in for decades. It can be difficult to tell normal memory problems from memory problems that should be a cause for concern. If you or a loved one has memory problems or other problems with thinking and learning that concern you, contact a physician. Sometimes the problems are caused by medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies or other conditions and can be reversed with treatment
Myth: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Fact: Alzheimer’s disease destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, walk and find his or her way home.
Myth: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s.
Fact: Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s.
Myth: Drinking out of aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Fact: During the 1960s and 1970s, aluminum emerged as a possible suspect in Alzheimer’s. This suspicion led to concern about exposure to aluminum through everyday sources such as pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants. Since then, studies have failed to confirm any role for aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s. Experts today focus on other areas of research, and few believe that everyday sources of aluminum pose any threat.
Myth: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fact: At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow worsening of symptoms for about 6 to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them.