October 12, 2023
Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that affects the neurons of the brain, with a higher incidence in people over 60 years of age. It causes a progressive deterioration of memory, language, orientation, and other aspects. Among its symptoms are memory loss, difficulties in performing daily tasks, disorientation of space and time, personality and behavioral changes, problems in expressing oneself, frequent misplacement of personal objects, etc. Dr. Ivette Caso, a neurologist at our clinic, helps us to know some myths and truths associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same thing. False. They are different terms. They are associated, but not synonymous. Dementia is the set of signs and symptoms caused by the loss of a person’s cognitive abilities. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.
There is no way to prevent Alzheimer’s. False. Alzheimer’s can be prevented by taking care of our cardiovascular health, blood pressure, and glucose levels, exercising regularly, maintaining an active social life, and exercising the mind.
If one of my parents has had Alzheimer’s, that means I will have it too. False. While it is true that there are factors that we cannot modify, such as genetic inheritance, we can work on maintaining proper cardiovascular health. Not all children with dementia patients develop the disease.
It is normal to lose your memory with age. It is true. With advancing age there is a decline in some cognitive functions, it takes longer to remember things and it is more difficult to adapt to new situations. Forgetfulness due to advanced age does not affect the patient’s routine or independence. However, if it is a recurrent problem lasting more than 6 months, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any type of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
There is no treatment to prevent or stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Truth. There are no drugs that prevent, cure, or modify the course of Alzheimer’s, but there are drugs that can diminish the symptoms of the disease, their function is more palliative.
There is a test to diagnose the disease. True. The evaluation performed by the neurologist will allow us to know which are areas most affected by dementia, so the specialist will request the corresponding diagnostic tests that together with his clinical judgment will facilitate an accurate diagnosis.
Dr. Ivette Caso
Neurologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma