By Michael Ellenbogen, Author; World Renowned Alzheimer’s Disease Advocate and Expert; Person with Alzheimer’s; and Health Power Editor and Advisor on Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Caregiving*
Myth 1: Only older people get Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Fact: Although Alzheimer’s usually occurs in older persons, it also occurs in young adults. However, when a young adult develops Alzheimer’s, it usually causes more issues. When a person under the age of 65 develops Alzheimer’s, it is referred to as Young Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, or YOAD. The youngest person on record as developing YOAD is 24 years old.
Myth 2: Alzheimer’s is just another stage of becoming old.
Fact: Although people often seem to experience memory decline as they grow older, it does not always occur. Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes progressive decline in memory and cognitive ability (knowledge and thought).
Myth 3: Drugs prolong life for people with Alzheimer’s.
Fact: As of today, there is no way to prevent or slow the progression of this disabling disease. Most persons with AD will die in 8 to 10 years from when they are diagnosed.
Myth 4: You can take a test to determine if you have Alzheimer’s.
Fact: The only way to tell if someone definitely has AD is to take a sample of brain tissue after a person’s death. The risks are very high in order to do this test while a person is still alive.
Myth 5: Most people with cognitive decline are diagnosed with AD.
Fact: The sad thing is that there may be as much as 80 percent of people with AD that do not even have a diagnosis. While some doctors know, they do not want to tell the patient, because they feel it would not help the prognosis, or outcome. Then, there are doctors that do not want to label someone young with this diagnosis. All this leads to more problems for the patient and family.
Myth 6: Alzheimer’s researchers receive equal funding to other researchers.
Alzheimer’s is now the 6th leading cause of death, whereas in 1998, it was the 12th leading cause of death. From 2000 to 2008, the number of Americans who died from Alzheimer’s disease increased 66%. Yet, much less money is spent by the Federal government (NIH) for Alzheimer’s than by other major diseases, especially when consideration is given to its markedly increased incidence.
Special Resources produced by Michael Ellenbogen, who has spoken on Alzheimer’s to groups ranging from 200 to 10,000:
Michael’s Website: http://michaelellenbogenmovement.com/
His Book: From the Corner Office to Alzheimer’s – Published August 20, 2013 – Via Amazon Books
Visit the following Health Power website areas for more information on Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Caregiving:
Remember the Health Power motto, or tagline: Knowledge + Action = Power!®