Dispelling Myths About Alzheimer's Disease

The Palace Gardens Homestead offers families a secure memory care neighborhood for their loved ones. In talking with people and explaining our community, we often find there are many myths about Alzheimer’s disease. These eight myths have been excerpted from the Alzheimer’s Association.

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• Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems such as forgetting the name of a person. However, Alzheimer’s disease is more than occasional memory loss and an individual may forget how to drive home, where they live or the name of a family member. Sometimes the problems are caused by medication side effects, vitamin deficiencies or other conditions and can be reversed with treatment. It’s important to contact a physician to discuss either your problems or your loved one’s memory issues.

• Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Alzheimer’s disease destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. As a disease, it slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk, and walk. People don’t survive from Alzheimer’s disease.

• Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s disease.
Early onset Alzheimer’s disease can strike people in their 30’s. It is estimated that more than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. Many are over age 65 but there are 200,000 people younger than age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

• Myth 4: Drinking from aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have failed to confirm any role of aluminum in causing Alzheimer’s disease. In the 1960s and 1970s, there was concern that pots and pans, beverage cans, antacids and antiperspirants were linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

• Myth 5: Aspartame causes memory loss.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not been presented with any scientific evidence regarding the use of artificial sweeteners and their safety in causing Alzheimer’s disease.

• Myth 6: Flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
A theory linking flu shots to Alzheimer’s disease was proposed by a U.S. doctor whose medical license was suspended. In fact, several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and overall better health. A report in the Nov. 2, 2014 The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that annual flu shots for older adults were associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes.

• Myth 7: Silver dental fillings increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the best available scientific evidence, there is no relationship between silver dental fillings and Alzheimer’s disease. • Myth 8: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer disease.
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no treatment to cure Alzheimer’s disease progression. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow working symptoms for about 6-12 months for about half of the individuals who take them.

To learn more about The Palace Gardens Homestead and the community’s specialized care for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, please call Elizabeth Martinez at 305-247-0446.