Maybe because the idea of Alzheimer’s disease makes us uncomfortable, we avoid learning about it unless absolutely necessary. Many people are ill-informed about what exactly Alzheimer’s is and is not, which can perpetuate the spread of erroneous myths. In order to shed some light on a subject that can be difficult to discuss, we’ve identified a few important characteristics of the disease — some that people may know, and some of which people may be less aware. Here are eight things that Alzheimer’s disease is NOT.
Alzheimer’s is not contagious — you can’t catch it by coming in close contact with someone who has the disease. So you can go ahead and embrace your aunt, uncle, parents, or grandparents without fear. It’s not like a common cold; you won’t catch it.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is not curable. Once a loved one has been diagnosed with the disease, they can be treated, but won’t ever heal. Medical professionals are still working toward better understanding the disease, as well as trying to learn more about how it can be prevented.
Similarly, Alzheimer’s disease can’t be reversed either — at least according to what we currently know. Once a loved one has reached a certain stage of Alzheimer’s, it’s there to stay. However, as researchers continue to learn more about the disease, they are discovering aspects that help form treatments. Researchers have found that there are some conditions with similar symptoms of memory loss that can be mistaken for Alzheimer’s, such as idiopathic normal-pressure hydrocephalus, which can be helped with treatment.
5. Inevitable If You Live Long Enough
Getting Alzheimer’s is not an inevitable occurrence of living. Many people live full lives without being afflicted with the disease. While there’s no official way to prevent Alzheimer’s, there are steps people can take to lower some of the risk factors associated with the disease. Such risk factors include high blood pressure and a lack of regular exercise. Incorporating a healthy diet and regular exercise into your daily life may help.
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