World Alzheimer’s Day occurs every year on September 21.
It is a day when Alzheimer’s organizations and families around the world raise awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Read about two common misconceptions about Alzheimer’s.
1. Alzheimer’s is the same as dementia.
Dementia is the umbrella term used to describe cognitive impairment caused by Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia. Other misdiagnosed causes of dementia include Lewy bodies, vascular, frontotemporal lobe, and later-stage Parkinson’s.
Today, over 5 million people live with Alzheimer’s in the U.S. and about 36 million, worldwide.
Because populations around the world are aging, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will rise beyond epidemic proportions.
2. A cure for Alzheimer’s is on the horizon.
Researchers do not yet agree on what causes Alzheimer’s disease. While research focuses on amyloid plaques and tau tangles, the former (plaques) have been found in the brains of well-functioning people who died. Until we agree on what “Alzheimer’s” really is, researchers are directing their efforts toward small pieces of a complex puzzle.
Do your part and help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and related causes of dementia tomorrow, on World Alzheimer’s Day. Start by sharing this article.
Brenda Avadian, MA