It is vital to understand that Dementia is not a kind of weakness, but in fact, a far-reaching disease, with no known cure available. Just like any other disease, it can not be predicted that who will be most likely to suffer it. In other to help people suffering from Dementia we have to get rid of stigmas that are commonly associated with this disease. Here are some myths surrounding Dementia that are needed to be diminished.
MYTH: Dementia is very rare.
REALITY: Over 3 million people are affected from Dementia yearly, only in U.S alone.
MYTH: Memory loss is a natural part of ageing.
REALITY: It is one of the toughest myth to dispose of surrounding Dementia. Though it is uncertain how much memory loss should be considered ‘normal’, as we continue to age. Many people claim that they have a harder time remembering things as they move towards old age, but no research confirms this theory. It is possible that our mind does become less sharp with time, but what is certain that memory disorientation which comes with Dementia is not as natural as normal part of ageing.
MYTH: Drinking or eating out of aluminium ware.
REALITY: None of these fear has been decisively proven valid by any scientific research. The theory about aluminium is quite old and a common one, however, doctors do confirm that if you consume aluminium in a large amount, there is a risk of neurotoxicity, but the amount of aluminium that seeps out of cookware and cans is meagre.
MYTH: Getting flu shots increases the risk of developing Dementia.
REALITY: It has been theorised that getting a flu shot increases the risk of Dementia. Although, this theory is proven wrong in an astonishing way. Flu vaccinations and other vaccinations alike might actually be linked to decreasing the risk of the disease. The study published in the Canadian Medical journal 2001 supports the theory that chances of acquiring Dementia can possibly decrease because of flu shots. Getting the flu shot is essentially beneficial for people in their old because of their weaker immune system.
MYTH: Dementia patient act in a certain way because of an abusive childhood.
REALITY: Dementia is an illness which lacks obvious physical symptoms which can lead to the assumption that the unusual behaviour which is caused because of Dementia is a result of lack of morality or a suffering childhood.
MYTH: Dementia is inherited.
REALITY: Although some form of Dementia does have a genetic component, especially if a close relative such as a parent or a sibling has the disease. The role of genes in the development of Dementia is not fully understood, though it has been stated that more than 20 genes have been found that do not directly cause Dementia but only affects the risk of a person developing it.
MYTH: Only people in their old age suffers from Dementia.
REALITY: Dementia is commonly associated with old age. However, children and teenagers can suffer from Dementia due to the number of diseases and conditions. Niemann-Pick disease type C (NDC) is an example of one of such disease.
MYTH: People with Dementia do not recognise the change in their behaviour.
REALITY: Most people with Dementia do recognise that they are behaving differently and know they can not help it. During the early stages of the disease, the patient is aware that their memories are periodically fading, and they do realise when they have trouble remembering the close associates name.
MYTH: Alzheimer and Dementia are the same things.
REALITY: Its is the fact that most people are confused with, Alzheimer is a form of Dementia rather than the same thing, it is not necessary that people who suffer from dementia will also suffer from Alzheimer. Alzheimer is the disease which involves shrinking of brain cells and causing abnormal deposits in the brain tissue.
MYTH: People with Dementia are prone to violence and aggression.
REALITY: The cause of aggression is only a possibility when a person is misunderstood, a patient with Dementia can have difficulty explaining themselves will lead to agitation. The actions of others not able to understand them causes the frustration inpatient leading them to act out which is perceived as violence or aggression, it is also possible that they are lashing out because of fear of mistreatment.