Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative ailment of the brain.(Shutterstock)
Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative ailment of the brain.(Shutterstock)

Alzheimer’s: 6 myths about the disease which everyone should know

More than four million people in India are afflicted with some form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common cause.
By Asian News International | Asian News International, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 21, 2017 05:06 PM IST

More than four million people in India are afflicted with some form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common cause.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative ailment of the brain. What makes this disease so severe is the fact that there is no definitive treatment to cure or slow its progress till date. Even though some medications can temporarily help manage symptoms from worsening, these drugs are effective only for short periods of time. Its diagnosis can be life changing for not only the patient but also for the whole family.

Myths and misleading information can make things worse for families coping with this illness. Dr M Udaya Kumar Maiya, Medical Director, Portea Medical busts some myths and brings to light some facts about this disease.

# Myth 1: Only the elderly can get Alzheimer’s

Even though it generally occurs in people over the age of 65, it has been found to affect some people even in their 40s and 50s. This is called early-onset Alzheimer’s. While some early signs of Alzheimer’s may appear similar to those that are age-related, there are ways to distinguish these symptoms from general signs of ageing. Alzheimer’s causes the brain functions to slowly decline, and as the disease progresses, thinking and reasoning may be affected, making even the simplest of daily chores difficult.

# Myth 2: Alzheimer’s can be prevented

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented. However, some studies show that vitamins E, B, and C taken regularly along with folate, selenium, and herbal remedies may be helpful. Regular exercise to the mind and body, coupled with eating nutritious food rich in omega-3 has also been shown to be beneficial.

# Myth 3: Alzheimer’s does not kill

It is the 6th most common cause of death in the United States, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer put together. The disease slowly causes brain cells to degenerate, leading to changes in memory. Patients exhibit erratic behavioural patterns and slow, progressive loss of basic body functions such as swallowing, talking, eating, and breathing. They often die of lung infections, or due to lack of nutrition. Patients may even land themselves into risky situations because they forget their way home.

# Myth 4: Memory loss is indicative of Alzheimer’s disease

This is not necessarily true. While loss of memory is a common problem as you grow older, the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s is progressive and debilitating. It interferes with the patient’s ability to perform daily chores and how they communicate with people. The memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s may cause patients to forget their own name, that of their spouse, or even a longtime friend.

# Myth 5: Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is end of life

Even if you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, you can continue to live a healthy life for many years ahead. While medications may, in some cases, help manage the symptoms to an extent, maintaining a heart-healthy diet, staying physically active, socializing regularly, and taking up activities that challenge the brain can benefit patients by slowing the progression of the disease.

# Myth 6: Alzheimer’s cannot be detected until much later

As with any other disease, early detection is the key to improving survival and life expectancy for patients with Alzheimer’s. Most sufferers die from Alzheimer’s because they have not been diagnosed. The lack of knowledge and failing to watch out for signs cause the disease to progress unchecked and undetected. Therefore, early detection not only gives you more time to draw up future plans, but also helps you and your family to tap maximum benefits out of the treatments available. SAGE or Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination is a test that can successfully detect early signs of Alzheimer’s. It was developed by a team of doctors at The Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University and comprises a four-page test that can be taken in under 15 minutes.

Even though the progression of this disease may vary individually, once in the advanced stages, sufferers reach a helpless, vegetative state and may require help for the most basic of functions just as newborn babies do. Hence, it is important that they be treated in a familiar environment in order to reduce stress, anxiety and fearfulness.

This is the reason why in-home care is an important aspect in supporting patients with Alzheimer. However, the role of a caretaker can be extremely stressful, often taking a toll on their personal lives. Fortunately, home health care services come as a welcome relief for caretakers and patients alike. Doctors, nurses, nursing attendants and physiotherapists and a host of other services can be combined together for an effective long term care plan to benefit the patient.

Hence, early detection is the key to enabling proper planning for home and medical care. Early planning can not only bring down the emotional and financial burden due to this condition but also present an opportunity to lead a better quality of life for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
The study involved all healthcare providers in the South West of England taking a new approach.(Unsplash)
The study involved all healthcare providers in the South West of England taking a new approach.(Unsplash)

Research suggest simple, cheap test can help save lives from colorectal cancer

ANI, London [uk]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:59 PM IST
New research has demonstrated that a simple, cheap test can help identify who is at risk of developing colorectal cancer, aiding early diagnosis and potentially saving lives.
Close
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes in India is expected to rise to 69.9 million from 40.9 million by 2025.(Pixabay)
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes in India is expected to rise to 69.9 million from 40.9 million by 2025.(Pixabay)

How can you treat diabetes the Ayurvedic way

ANI, Gurugram (haryana) [india]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:58 PM IST
One of India's leading Ayurvedic medicines developers, Butterfly Ayurveda, recommends people to take care of their sugar levels with Ayurveda, particularly during this pandemic since they are at huge risk of Covid-19.
Close
Despite the coronavirus restricting gym capacity while shuttering some entirely, the traditional January spike in memberships has matched—and in some ways exceeded—those of years past.(Unsplash)
Despite the coronavirus restricting gym capacity while shuttering some entirely, the traditional January spike in memberships has matched—and in some ways exceeded—those of years past.(Unsplash)

How Covid-19 has permanently changed the fitness industry

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 05:15 PM IST
Covid-19 has accelerated adoption of a hybrid model of online/in-person workouts that more brick-and-mortar gyms are likely to retain when the pandemic recedes.
Close
Representational image(Unsplash)
Representational image(Unsplash)

Fried food intake linked to heightened serious heart disease, stroke risk

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:25 PM IST
While fried food is considered detrimental to health, a new study sheds light on its effects. The findings of a pooled analysis of the available research suggest that fried-food intake is linked to a heightened risk of major heart disease and stroke.
Close
It is well known that people who drink a lot of alcohol regularly are at increased risk of developing heart failure, and heart failure can increase the incidence of atrial fibrillation.(Unsplash)
It is well known that people who drink a lot of alcohol regularly are at increased risk of developing heart failure, and heart failure can increase the incidence of atrial fibrillation.(Unsplash)

One alcoholic drink in a day linked to risk of atrial fibrillation: Study

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 01:21 PM IST
A study of nearly 108,000 people has found that people who regularly drink a modest amount of alcohol are at increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a condition where the heart beats in an abnormal rhythm.
Close
Study: Androgen therapy can be alternative treatment strategy for breast cancer(Twitter/MoriKessler)
Study: Androgen therapy can be alternative treatment strategy for breast cancer(Twitter/MoriKessler)

Study: Androgen therapy can be alternative treatment strategy for breast cancer

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 08:07 AM IST
  • A new discovery finds positive role of androgens in breast cancer treatment. Study says androgen therapy has immediate implications for women resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy
Close
Prior to Covid-19 there was a strong global health discourse that argued against lockdowns and similar mass quarantines.(Bloomberg)
Prior to Covid-19 there was a strong global health discourse that argued against lockdowns and similar mass quarantines.(Bloomberg)

From the Bubonic plague to 2021, why lockdowns look set to stay

Bloomberg
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 05:54 PM IST
A year after the lockdown imposed in the Chinese city of Wuhan shocked the world, the tactic is turning out to be an enduring tool for quelling the coronavirus almost everywhere.
Close
The survey also found that those with blood group 'O' may be less susceptible to the infection, while people with 'B' and 'AB' blood groups were at a higher risk.(Unsplash)
The survey also found that those with blood group 'O' may be less susceptible to the infection, while people with 'B' and 'AB' blood groups were at a higher risk.(Unsplash)

Seropositivity for Covid-19 found to be lesser in smokers, vegetarians

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:35 PM IST
Smokers and vegetarians were found to have lower seropositivity indicating that they may be at a lesser risk of getting infected by coronavirus.
Close
Malaika Arora does Sarvangasana(Instagram/malaikaaroraofficial)
Malaika Arora does Sarvangasana(Instagram/malaikaaroraofficial)

Malaika Arora's asana for the week is Sarvangasana, it has countless benefits

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:24 PM IST
  • This week, Malaika Arora showed her followers how to do the Sarvangasana aka the shoulder stand. The fitness enthusiast shares an asana every week to urge her followers to exercise.
Close
Shilpa Shetty Kundra's favourite fitness routine releases pent up stress | Watch(Instagram/simplesoulfulapp)
Shilpa Shetty Kundra's favourite fitness routine releases pent up stress | Watch(Instagram/simplesoulfulapp)

Shilpa Shetty Kundra's favourite fitness routine releases pent up stress | Watch

By Zarafshan Shiraz
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:24 PM IST
  • Shilpa Shetty Kundra’s Monday motivation for a healthy lifestyle is all about getting set for the day with a liberated mind free of stress and these are the exercises that make up her fitness routine to rejuvenate | Watch
Close
Here's how changing diets might drive global rise in childhood obesity(Twitter/efad_org)
Here's how changing diets might drive global rise in childhood obesity(Twitter/efad_org)

Here's how changing diets might drive global rise in childhood obesity

ANI
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 12:31 PM IST
A new study has found that changing diets, not less physical activity, may best explain childhood obesity crisis
Close
"It's a small study, but it is the first to show the potential of using metabolic markers as predictive clinical indicators of patients at greatest risk -- and lower risk -- for recurring bouts of major depressive symptoms," added Naviaux.(Unsplash)
"It's a small study, but it is the first to show the potential of using metabolic markers as predictive clinical indicators of patients at greatest risk -- and lower risk -- for recurring bouts of major depressive symptoms," added Naviaux.(Unsplash)

Study finds metabolism's possible role in depression

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 06:05 PM IST
Certain metabolites may be predictive indicators for persons at risk for recurrent major depressive disorder, suggests a recent study by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, in collaboration with Dutch scientists.
Close
Immunotherapies are cancer drugs that essentially block the "don't-eat-me" signal coming from cancer and allow the immune-system to kill it.(Unsplash)
Immunotherapies are cancer drugs that essentially block the "don't-eat-me" signal coming from cancer and allow the immune-system to kill it.(Unsplash)

Researchers find how cancer can be killed by body's own immune system

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 05:59 PM IST
A new way to help the body's immune system get past that deception and destroy cancer, has been found by a University of Missouri researcher.
Close
Food insufficiency, the most extreme form of food insecurity, occurs when families do not have enough food to eat.(Unsplash)
Food insufficiency, the most extreme form of food insecurity, occurs when families do not have enough food to eat.(Unsplash)

Study: Covid-19 pandemic induced food inadequacy is connected to depression

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON JAN 17, 2021 05:49 PM IST
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that a 25 per cent ascend in food deficiency during the Covid-19 hit pandemic is connected to demolished psychological wellness.
Close
Taapsee Pannu loves her healthy laddoos(Instagram/taapsee)
Taapsee Pannu loves her healthy laddoos(Instagram/taapsee)

Taapsee Pannu's healthy laddoos will give any dessert a run for its money

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2021 04:22 PM IST
  • Taapsee Pannu has been following a diet for the preparation of her film Rashmi Rocket. However, her diet is not as boring as one would imagine. It even includes laddoos. Yes, you can read that again.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP