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Alzheimer's Disease: Myth vs Truth

Myth: Alzheimer's symptoms are a normal part of aging.

Truth: It is normal to have the occasional memory slip, such as not remembering what you ate the day before, however, Alzheimer's symptoms are more serious and constant. This could be not remembering a long-time friend or having difficultly completing familiar tasks. They may even make more frequent mistakes in daily work and have challenges planning or solving problems. Common signs also include withdrawing from social activities or strong mood and personality changes.

It may be difficult to decipher between natural memory problems and Alzheimer-related problems.

If you know someone struggling with constant challenges in memory or displays symptoms of Alzheimer's, it is best to suggest they contact a physician.


Myth: Only older people get Alzheimer's disease.

Truth: Although most Alzheimer's patients are over 65 years old, it is still not exclusive to older patients. Early Onset Alzheimers could affect people as early as in their 30s or 40s. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 5% to 6% of people with Alzheimer's disease develop symptoms before age 65.


Myth: Flu shots cause Alzheimer's disease.

Truth: There are no peer-reviewed scientific articles that provide evidence to support the correlation between flu shots and a higher risk of Alzheimer's. This idea was introduced to the public by a US doctor who later had his license suspended. In fact, studies have shown that getting flu shot vaccinations can actually decrease the risk for Alzheimer's. According to Betsy Mills Ph.D., a study of approximately 4,000 people over age 65 concluded that people with previous exposure to vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and the flu resulted in a decreased risk for Alzheimer's disease.


Myth: Alzheimer's is passed down based on genetics.

Truth: This is only partly true. It is known that genetics plays some sort of role in the development of Alzheimer's. Although genetics is not necessary for an individual to develop Alzheimer's, according to the Alzheimer's Association, people with a family history are more likely to inherit the risk genes associated with developing Alzheimer's. There are many other factors that are significant and must be taken into account such as diet, environmental factors, and lifestyle.



 

References:

“5 Myths ABOUT Alzheimer's DISEASE: Keck Medicine of USC.” Keck Medicine of USC |, 8 Nov. 2019, www.keckmedicine.org/5-myths-about-alzheimers-disease/.

“Is There a Link between Alzheimer's Disease and the Flu Shot?” Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, www.alzdiscovery.org/c

ognitive-vitality/blog/is-there-a-link-between-alzheimers-disease-and-the-flu-shot.


“Is Alzheimer's Genetic?” Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, Alzheimer's Association, www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers/causes-and-risk-factors/genetics.

“Myths.” Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-alzheimers/myths.
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