Most people have an idea of what dementia is. Due to the 50 million people in the world affected by it, dementia is a well-known disease. People may know dementia has to do with memory loss. It is a symptom of many diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s disease. Yet despite the massive impact that dementia has on individuals, families and society, there are still many misconceptions about it. The misconceptions and realities of dementia are important to be aware of. Especially if you or your loved one is affected.
Business Insider discusses several of the interesting misconceptions we have about dementia. For instance, a common one is the belief that dementia and Alzheimer’s are the same. However, dementia is simply a symptom of Alzheimer’s. The term dementia describes a symptom that can be present in many different diseases. Alzheimer’s is just one of them. This symptom includes memory loss, confusion, and mood changes. But there is much more to the disease than dementia.
On the same note, when people think of dementia, they think of memory loss. Yet the diseases that cause dementia are terminal and ultimately result in death. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of death. This is a heartbreaking reality that many do not realize. In addition, people think of dementia patients as being elderly. But in fact, two to eight percent of dementia cases affect people under 65. This may seem like a small percentage, but it is important to realize that dementia can affect younger adults. Also, by the time people get to 90 years old, they more likely won’t have any diseases that cause dementia than have one.
Lastly, there is no cure to slow the progression of dementia and related diseases. Whereas many other terminal diseases have treatments, dementia is a tricky disease to treat. This is just one more sad reality that people affected will face.
Overall, there are so many misconceptions and realities of dementia. However, increased awareness means more research and further advancements in treatments. As the article states, “I think the awareness of dementia is better than it’s ever been, but the understanding of dementia hasn’t quite caught up”. Learning more is so important. You never know how you will be affected throughout your life.