Uncovering the Truth About Alzheimer’s Confronts Damaging Myths About the Disease

The Alzheimer’s Association Offers More Information for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month this June. 

June 1, 2016, Daytona Beach, FL – June 1 begins Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month (ABAM), as the Alzheimer’s Association confronts damaging myths about the disease.  It is now common knowledge that Alzheimer’s robs people of their ability to remember, but we now know that it is a fatal disease with symptoms that extend past memory loss and can affect anyone, at any age.

6th cause of death

  • Truth: Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death among Americans, leaves no survivors and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, slowed, or cured. Every 66 seconds, someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Truth: Early diagnosis matters. A common misconception is that Alzheimer’s disease is normal aging. With an estimated half a million Floridians and nearly 16,000 Volusia County residents living with Alzheimer’s disease, studies show less than half have been diagnosed. Early diagnosis means families living with the disease can plan and build a solid support system.
  • Truth: Risks are higher among some more than others. African-Americans are about twice as likely as Caucasians to have Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Hispanics are about one and a half times as likely; and
    cullen with collateral at forum

    Cullen Peele advocates on Capitol Hill.

    more than two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women – making women nearly two times as likely to get Alzheimer’s as men.

  • Myth: Alzheimer’s is an older person’s disease. The truth is one in nine people age 65 and older will be diagnosed; and one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s disease. Although age is the biggest risk factor, Alzheimer’s disease can affect anyone with a brain.  “My father was diagnosed at age 59 when I was a junior in high school.  It blindsided our family and devastated our future plans,” says Cullen Peele, Alzheimer’s Association Young Advocate.  “Now, I work with the Alzheimer’s Association so there is a chance others can avoid our tragic loss.”

  • Myth: Alzheimer’s disease is just memory loss. The truth is Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease there are no survivors. From 2000-2013, the number of Alzheimer’s deaths increased 71 percent, while deaths from other major diseases decreased.

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  • Myth: There is no way to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The truth is staying mentally active, engaging in regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet benefits your body and your brain. There is also some evidence people may benefit from staying socially engaged with friends, family and the community. The Alzheimer’s Association is sharing steps to reduce your risk of cognitive decline with 10 Ways to Love Your Brain.

 

 

“Our Central and North Florida Chapter provides education programs, support services and resources to all of our local families in need,” says chapter CEO Kay Redington. “During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, we encourage everyone to show their support by participating in the Longest Day on June 20th and wearing purple during the month of June.”

To get involved: Longest Day Kayaking

Participate in The Longest Day® on June 20, a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor those facing  Alzheimer’s disease with strength, heart and endurance.

             longest day picture gardening team

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Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to shine a light on Alzheimer’s by lighting their buildings purple this month to show their support and raise awareness. Visit alz.org/cnfl or call 800-272-3900.

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Join the Alzheimer’s Association in wearing purple throughout the month, especially on June 20. Share photos of yourself, family, friends and co-workers wearing the movement’s signature color via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. with the hashtag #ENDALZ and #IGoPurpleFor. At alz.org/gopurple, find out who else is going purple for Alzheimer’s.

 

Alzheimer’s Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research. The Association’s mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800-272-3900.

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