Debunking dementia myths

Creating the Dynamic Dementia Care Team and Memory Path Care Solutions by Clarice C. Cook, CDP are in print at Amazon and Barnes and and in audio download at

True facts: It is not always dementia. Old age does not always lead to dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most talked about and most diagnosed of the dementia diseases.

Karen Mayer Robinson presents 5 Myths about Alzheimer’s disease at

Myth 1:  Alzheimer’s happens only to older people, and Myth 2: Alzheimer’s symptoms are a normal part of aging.

I would like to say that the myth extends to all dementias.  Many of us who are growing older call it olditis. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, and creditable research organizations around the world, 5% of persons with Alzheimer’s begin in persons who are in the 30’s and 40’s.  That type is called Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

Forgetfulness as we get older does not always mean we have dementia. Symptoms of dementia may be caused by another health issue…get a physical. The first step to researching whether you have a dementia disease is to consult with your primary care doctor and get a thorough examination. UTI’s and other infections in the body, thyroid problems and other malfunctions can cause memory and cognitive disturbances.

If your primary care determines that there are no medical conditions that might lead to temporary symptoms of dementia, MRI’s, CT scans or x-rays to determine brain health may be ordered.  Go to and view pictures of the differences between a healthy brain and one diseased by dementia. With further testing, the type of dementia can be determined.

Myth 3: Alzheimer’s doesn’t lead to death.

My advice is to go to to view the progression of Alzheimer’s.  The brain and body interact.  If we forget repeatedly to brush and care for our teeth, the result can be gum disease.  Gum disease leaks poisons to the rest of our body since the mouth is the open gateway to the body.  If we forget or refuse to eat, the body and brain cells cannot function properly and the cells die without replacement, thus giving way to failure to the heart, lungs, kidneys and throughout our total operating systems. If we are taking life saving medications for other diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, and we forget to take them, the consequences can be death.  If the tau protein continues through to the functioning parts of the brain, there can be a shut down of heart, lungs and other life sustaining organs.

Myth 4: There are treatments that stop the disease from getting worse.

The sad truth is that science has not yet found a cure for irreversible dementia.  There are currently medications that can treat the symptoms and improve quality of life.  However, if the medications work at all, the relief may only last a year at the most.  This is because the disease continues to progress and a medication that worked in one stage may not work in another stage.

My biggest aggravation are scammers that continue to bilk worried and frustrated people out of enormous amounts of money with claims of stopping and curing dementia diseases.  My advice is to rely on experts.  If you are not comfortable with your family care physician, find a good dementia and geriatric care specialist for the answers you need. Stay away from T.V. and Internet ads that claim miracles for anything.

Myth 5:  Alzheimer’s is caused by aluminum, flu shots, silver fillings or aspartame.

This is probably the craziest myth of all.  As Karen Mayer Robinson states…There are no creditable studies to prove that any of these claims are true.  If you want to avoid aluminum and aspartame…no problem.  However, get your *flu shots and if you need silver fillings in a cavity…for heavens sake, do it.

*The myth that flu shots cause you to have the flu has been disproved.  The truth about that is this.  It takes at least two weeks for the flu shot to become effective. If one gets the flu after a flu shot, they already had been infected with the virus prior to injection.

©Clarice C. Cook, CCCWriter








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