There is a lot of misunderstanding about Alzheimer’s disease. Here are 5 myths and the real answers…
Reality check: 5 myths regarding Alzheimer’s
Nancy De Gennaro , firstname.lastname@example.org 2:25 p.m. CDT October 19, 2016
MURFREESBORO — In the United States, one in three senior citizens will die from Alzheimer’s disease — a number that is greater than deaths from breast and prostate cancers combined, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and by 2050, it is estimated the cost of dealing with Alzheimer’s will impact the nation to the tune of $1 trillion. And the numbers aren’t getting any smaller, which is one of the reasons there’s the Walk to End Alzheimer’s every year.
Research is crucial in finding a cure for Alzheimer’s. Currently there isn’t one. Here are some myths regarding Alzheimer’s disease.
Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
Reality: As people age, it’s normal to have occasional memory problems, such as forgetting the name of a person you’ve recently met. Alzheimer’s is more than occasional memory loss. It’s a disease that causes brain cells to malfunction and die. When this happens, an individual may forget the name of a longtime friend or what roads to take to return to a home they’ve lived in for decades. Visit alz.org/10-signs-symptoms-alzheimers-dementia.asp to learn how to tell the difference.
Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Reality: Alzheimer’s disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions. It slowly and painfully takes away a person’s identity, ability to connect with others, think, eat, talk and walk.
Myth 3: Only older people can get Alzheimer’s
Reality: Alzheimer’s can strike people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s. This is called younger-onset Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that there are more than 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s disease in the United State — including 200,000 people younger than age 65 with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Myth 4: Environmental consumption
Drinking out of aluminum cans, cooking in aluminum pots and antiperspirants containing aluminum can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Aspartame causes memory loss. Flu shots increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Reality: A variety of myths are floating around blaming certain environmental factors for causing Alzheimer’s. Over time, many of these theories have been proven to be false. Visit alz.org/alzheimers_disease_myths_about_alzheimers.asp to learn more about studies that have debunked links to Alzheimer’s.
Myth 5: There are treatments available to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Reality: At this time, there is no treatment to cure, delay or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. FDA-approved drugs temporarily slow worsening of symptoms for about six to 12 months, on average, for about half of the individuals who take them.
Dementia vaccine may be just years away, Flinders University researcher believes
A vaccine to prevent and even reverse the early stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia could be tested on humans within the next two to three years after being “bankrolled” by the US Government.
Public Domain from pixabay
Researchers from South Australia’s Flinders University have been working with US counterparts at the Institute of Molecular Medicine and University of California to develop the vaccine, which targets proteins in the brain that block neurons.
According to Alzheimer’s Australia there are more than 353,800 Australians living with dementia and without a medical breakthrough that number is expected to rise to almost 900,000 by 2050.
Flinders University medicine professor Nikolai Petrovsky said that over time, two proteins in the brain, amyloid-beta (a-beta) and tau, broke down and caused the condition.
“[The proteins are] a bit like the car in your driveway,” told 891 ABC.
“You need to remove them from the brain otherwise if you left broken down cars in your driveway eventually you couldn’t get out.
“Essentially that’s what happens in people who get Alzheimer’s or dementia is they have lots of these broken down proteins in the brain.
“Essentially what we have designed is a vaccine that makes the immune system produce antibodies and those antibodies act like tow trucks so they come to your driveway, they latch on to the breakdown protein or car and they pull it out of the driveway.”
Vaccine could reverse early stages of disease
He said the first protein “to go wrong” was a-beta.
“So by developing a vaccine against a-beta it seems to work in the animals best if you give it before they get Alzheimer’s or dementia and it doesn’t work so well once they have developed the disease,” he said.
“Interestingly the second protein, which has been found more recently, which we are targeting … it turns out if you target tau with the vaccine you can actually reverse the disease even once it has developed.”
Professor Petrovsky said having a vaccine targeting both proteins was a key feature.
“It could be used both to give people at a particular age, say 50 years of age when they are perfectly fine, to stop them developing dementia, but potentially also could be given to people at least in the early stages of dementia to actually try and reverse the process,” he said.
He said the vaccine was being “bankrolled by the world’s biggest government” and unless researchers hit a roadblock it would be tested on humans within the next two to three years.
“Certainty the US Government is very committed to this program; this year they have allocated $1 billion for research into treatments of Alzheimer’s including our vaccine,” he said.
“Given the demand for a vaccine, if we show it is successful in the early stages we expect this will be pulled through and turned into product very, very quickly.”
As of now, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. A preceding stage of cognitive decline is Mild Cognitive Impairment which involves mild memory loss, such as forgetting important events or appointments, or an inability or difficulty with finding the right word in a conversation.
Green Planet Nutraceuticals has an excellent brain formula product which can address Mild Cognitive Impairment. You can read about what it does and the unique formulation on our Amazon.com listing. It is manufactured in the U.S.A. in an FDA approved facility using the highest quality natural ingredients.