Dementia Fact or Fiction
Fact or Fiction: Debunking the myths of Alzheimer's disease
Over the years, many myths have evolved about what Alzheimer’s disease is, who gets it and how it affects people who have it. These myths can add to the stigma attached to the disease and stand in the way of our ability to understand and help people with it. At the Alzheimer Society, we believe the sooner we dispel the myths, the better we’ll be able to respond to the reality.
FACT OR FICTION: My mother had Alzheimer’s, so I’m going to get it too.
FICTION! Although genetics play a role in the disease, fewer than seven per cent of cases are associated with genes that cause the early onset inherited familial form of the disease (FAD). The majority of cases are of the late onset “sporadic Alzheimer’s disease” form, in which genes do not play a role. A person who has a parent or a sibling who has or had sporadic Alzheimer’s disease has a very slightly increased risk of getting the disease.
FACT OR FICTION: Alzheimer's only affects the elderly.
FICTION! While age is the most significant known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, most people in fact do not develop the disease as they age. However, even with the sporadic form of the disease, people have on occasion been diagnosed with it in their 40s and 50s. What’s most important to understand is that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging.