Alzheimer’s disease is a growing concern worldwide, affecting millions of individuals and their families.
As we strive to understand this condition better, several myths and misconceptions must be addressed. Let’s separate fact from fiction and shed light on some critical aspects of the disease:
Myth 1: Blood sugar levels are not linked to Alzheimer’s disease
Fact: Recent research has revealed a surprising connection between high blood sugar levels and Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated blood sugar can harm blood vessels in the brain, leading to cognitive decline. According to studies, managing blood sugar levels reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Myth 2: There is no way to detect Alzheimer’s disease early
Fact: Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is possible, thanks to advances in medical technology. Brain imaging scans and blood tests are now available to identify the disease in its early stages. It is crucial because it enables timely treatment, potentially slowing its progression.
Myth 3: There is no support available for people with Alzheimer’s disease and their families
Fact: Fortunately, numerous organisations provide valuable support to individuals affected by Alzheimer’s and their families. Some such organisations in India are:
- Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI)
- HelpAge India
- Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
- National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of India (AFI)
- Alzheimer’s Association of India (AAI)
They offer various services, including caregiver support groups, educational resources, and financial assistance. No one has to face Alzheimer’s alone; there’s help available.
Myth 4: Alzheimer’s disease is only a problem for older adults
Fact: Alzheimer’s is more common in senior citizens. However, although rare, early onset can manifest in individuals as young as 30 or 40. Recognizing the possibility of Alzheimer’s at any age is essential for early intervention.
Myth 5: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal
Fact: As per a Lancet study, 129000 people died from Alzheimer’s disease in India in 2019 alone.
It is a progressive disease, meaning that it gets worse over time. In the late stages of the disease, people may lose their ability to eat, drink, and walk. Thus, they may also become more susceptible to infections.
Understanding the facts about Alzheimer’s disease is crucial in our effort to combat this challenging condition. Dispelling myths and misconceptions can lead to better outcomes for individuals and their families.
In a world where information spreads rapidly, we must invest in creating robust health communication systems that aim to truly educate and inform the public about science and health issues.
Misinformation on diseases such as Alzheimer’s can lead to delayed diagnosis, ineffective treatments, and unnecessary fear. By promoting accurate information and raising awareness, we empower individuals. They can make informed decisions about their health, reduce stigma, and foster a compassionate society.
The Analysis (TA) is a research and communication group working on law and public policy issues in India. Feel free to share your submissions with us at email@example.com