8 myths about Alzheimer’s disease

alzheimer's disease researchAccording to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with someone developing the disease every 66 seconds.  While the medical world doesn’t know exactly what causes Alzheimer’s disease, here are some myths they’ve debunked!

FALSE: Exposure to aluminum causes Alzheimer’s—This was a popular theory in the 1960s and 1970s but numerous studies have found no evidence to support that drinking from aluminum cans, cooking in aluminum pots and pans, or using aluminum-containing antiperspirants cause the disease.

FALSE: Aspartame causes memory loss—Even though many studies have focused on the effect of aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet) on cognitive function, and there has been no link found so far.

FALSE: Only older people get Alzheimer’s—While it does affect mostly older people, early-onset Alzheimer’s can affect those in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. It is estimated that around 200,000 people in the U.S. younger than age 65 have Alzheimer’s.

FALSE: Flu shots increase risk—Not only has this one been debunked, but the opposite may be true. A 2001 report in the Canadian Medical Journal suggested that older adults who received flu and other vaccinations had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

FALSE: Silver dental fillings increase Alzheimer’s risk—This myth arose because silver fillings are made of an amalgam that contains mercury, a heavy metal that can be toxic in certain forms. However, many worldwide agencies have deemed these types of fillings to be safe, and no evidence has been found that the amalgam is dangerous in any way.

FALSE: It’s a normal part of aging—While it may be normal to have occasional memory problems, Alzheimer’s is much more than that. Read our blog here to see how to tell the difference between normal aging and signs of Alzheimer’s.

FALSE: It can be treated or even prevented—Of the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., Alzheimer’s is the only one that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. The two types of medications approved for Alzheimer’s—cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine—only help manage the symptoms.

FALSE: It’s not fatal—The facts are that Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U. S., and one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Most people live eight to ten years after diagnosis. Alzheimer’s has no survivors.

Research is critical to discovering ways to fight Alzheimer’s disease. Meridien Research has Alzheimer’s disease research studies enrolling now at several of our clinics. For more information or to see if you or someone you know may qualify to participate, please contact us today at 1-888-777-8839 or visit our STUDIES pages.