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VERIFIED CONTENTConsultation: Anna Barczak, MD, PhD, neuropsychologist from the Alzheimer's Department of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Hospital in Warsaw

Almost everyone has heard about the insidious disease that is Alzheimer's! It affects more and more people - not only seniors, but also young people. Much is known about the disease, but still there are myths and misconceptions about it. It's time to put an end to them! We deny false information about Alzheimer's disease with the neuropsychologist Dr. Anna Barczak, MD, PhD from the Alzheimer's Department of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Hospital in Warsaw.

We'll start with a few facts first! Alzheimer's diseaseis a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive memory and behavioral disturbances.It usually develops insidiously and leads to dementia.

Patients in the early stages of this disease develop personality disorders, mood swings and depressive states. These people also begin to withdraw from themselves, withdraw from the environment and withdraw from interpersonal contacts - they lose interest in spending free time with their family. In the later stages, they struggle withserious disturbances in awareness and orientation about time, place and situation , and this significantly impairs their ability to function independently. Unfortunately, the development of Alzheimer's disease cannot be stopped! Over time, people with Alzheimer's need care at all times.

The cause of this disease is basically unknown and there is no specific way to prevent it.

Most Popular Myths About Alzheimer's Disease - Things Not Worth Believing!

There are various myths about Alzheimer's. Knowing what this disease is not is just as important as knowing what it is! We decided to refute them together withneuropsychologist Dr. Anna Barczak from the Alzheimer's Department of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Hospital in Warsaw.Here are the 10 most common myths about this disease!

1. Age as the only cause of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Age is the most common non-modifiable risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease. This is due to a build-up of pathological proteins in the brain.The higher the age, the more accumulatedneuropathological changes , which in consequence lead to the death of neurons, and thus the loss of cognitive performance.

2. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is a death sentence.

No! The process of developing Alzheimer's disease sometimes lasts several dozen years. Many people die of other causes without even knowing that their brains are undergoing a neurodegenerative process. If someone develops symptoms of dementia, the risk of death does increase, but the most common causes are respiratory or circulatory failure.

3. Alzheimer's patients are aggressive patients.

This isone of the most common myths of . Agitation or aggression occurs in Alzheimer's disease in these later stages of dementia. Sometimes it is one way of communicating a problem or ailment for a patient who has already lost the ability to express himself with words. Then it is necessary to analyze changes in the patient's environment, which can often be trivial and unnoticeable by the caregiver, result from physical pain and often its removal or modification alleviates the patient's behavior. In the initial stages, the patient's aggression is most often a reaction to inappropriate behavior, mainly on the part of the caregiver. In Alzheimer's disease, patients also lose the ability to control the behavior and words or actions of the caregiver that would not have triggered an inappropriate response prior to the disease, now may result in aggression.

4. People with Alzheimer's have no hope. This disease is not treated.

Not yet, but we're getting closer. This does not mean, however, that there is no pharmacotherapy. The currently available treatment is dedicated to Alzheimer's dementia and we can only turn it on when we make a diagnosis.

5. The best carer for someone with Alzheimer's is a family member.

The best caregiver issomeone who understands Alzheimer's disease and accepts its consequences and changes in behavior . It is not always a family member. Sometimes spouses of similar age or suffering from various causes are unable to change their attitude towards the sick person. They expect him to stop being malicious or pretend he doesn't remember because he remembers old things well. In some situations, especially where specialized care treatments are already required, a professional is a much better solution.

6. The second name for Alzheimer's disease is senile dementia.

Yes and no. The concept of dementia (dementia) is the bag in which all the progressive ones fitneurodegenerative diseases, and Alzheimer's disease is just one of them. In this case, senile dementia refers to the age of onset, i.e. after the age of 65, and some people begin to develop Alzheimer's disease at a much earlier age.

7. Better to avoid drinking aluminum cans and not to cook with aluminum cans. Why? Because it causes Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is caused by a build-up of pathological proteins in the brain. To achieve the concentrations needed to induce the dullness-inducing lesions, you probably would need to eat the pan or can itself, not the contents.

8. Vaccines increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Perversely - yes, because they extend life and ensure good he alth, allowing for the age of clinical manifestation of the disease. Seriously -has nothing to do with vaccination and the development of Alzheimer's disease , moreover, vaccination against influenza and pneumonia in the elderly group slows the development of dementia.

9. There are drugs that can stop Alzheimer's disease.

Not yet.… We are trying to create drugs that will have a causal effect. Drugs that will remove tau or beta amyloid protein deposits are currently being developed at various levels of advancement. However, there is no certainty that removing these pathological proteins from the brain will eliminate the process altogether. When it comes to dementia in Alzheimer's disease, there is a group of drugs that, if the patient responds well, can slow down the worsening for a while and relieve the symptoms of dementia.

Read also: Alzheimer's vaccine coming soon? Scientists' forecasts

10. You can catch Alzheimer's disease. A few years ago, there was information in the world of science that the initiation of the degradation of the functions of the cerebral cortex may occur as a result of … infection.

Indeed, cortical function degradation may occur as a result of cerebral infections, such as after herpetic encephalitis, but this is not the case in Alzheimer's disease. Otherwise, specialists who would quickly become patients themselves due to overexposure in contact with patients would not be enough.Alzheimer's disease is not contagious.We are programmed to have it, and in part through lifestyle modifications, nutrition, building cognitive reserve, we are able to postpone the full manifestation of Alzheimer's disease, i.e. dementia, as long as possible.

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