Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Treatments and tests for alzheimer's disease - myths abound

Results of an international survey reveal that over 85% of respondents in the five countries surveyed say that if they were exhibiting confusion and memory loss, they would want to see a doctor to determine if the cause of the symptoms was Alzheimer’s disease. Over 94% would want the same if a family member were exhibiting the symptoms. The findings were presented today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2011 (AAIC 2011).

The myths abound.
There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease.
Some symptoms can be assuaged for 6 - 12 months, but they will worsen. Eventually, the brain cells die. It is progressive. At first the cells do not function in the area of thinking skills. Then, it progresses in the brain until autonomic functions stop. This means you cannot eat, breathe, digest normally.
The text is here. Click here for the complete survey. Click here for the charts.


  • Most adults said that if they were exhibiting confusion or memory loss, they would go to a doctor to determine if the cause of the symptoms was Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Between 43 and 95%  were worried that they or a family member will get Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Between 54% to 77% said they had known someone who has Alzheimer's disease.
  • Between 13% and 27% reported that they had been providing decision-making, financial support, or day-to-day care for someone with Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Between 52% to 71% believed there was now or will be in the next five years an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Between 38% and 59% believed there was a reliable test currently available to determine if a person is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

Five-country alzheimer's disease survey - Alzheimer Europe

Harvard School of Public Health/Alzheimer Europe Five-Country Alzheimer's Disease Survey, February, 2011. 
Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association
Volume 7, Issue 4, Supplement , Page e50, July 2011

WHO fact sheet. The top ten causes of death. Factsheet available here.

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