July 02, 2019
By John DenBoer, PhD, clinical neuropsychologist and founder of SMART Brain Aging Inc.
Often times I hear about misconceptions surrounding dementia. This is one of the things I tend to struggle with most, educating the population about dementia. I have come to find that not only do people not understand dementia, many believe the common myths regarding it. Since dementia is known as the 21st century’s biggest killer, it is important to explore these myths and debunk them as soon as possible!
1) Dementia is a natural part of aging!
This is one of the most common myths I hear, when in fact dementia is NOT a natural part of aging. Dementia is common among elderly people, but dementia is not something that typically occurs as you age. Of course, as we grow older, we do get some brain fog from time to time, but it is not natural to have intense memory issues as we see with those suffering from dementia.
2) But I am young, I can’t get dementia!
Another misconception about dementia is that it only impacted older people. This is not true at all. Like I mentioned before, dementia is common in elderly people, but it can impact anyone at any age. Since dementia is not caused by aging, someone in their 30s or 40s could develop dementia. Many head injuries result in dementia, no matter what age you are.
3) Alzheimer disease and dementia are the same thing!
Since the majority of the population doesn’t really understand dementia, they often times confused it with the same thing as Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is actually a form of dementia. Think of dementia as an umbrella, and it has a bunch of different types underneath it like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease and Vascular Dementia. Dementia is a group of thinking and social symptoms that end up disrupting daily life, Alzheimer’s is form of this.
4) Dementia can’t be prevented!
Yes, it is true that there is currently no cure for dementia, but there are ways you can mitigate the onset of dementia. By living a healthy life with regular exercise, a nutritious diet (limit your sugar intake), staying social and learning new and novel things, you can actually mitigate the onset of dementia. Cognitive exercises make a big impact on a healthy brain and are something that is highly encouraged to fight off memory loss.
By spreading knowledge and facts about dementia, my team at SMART Brain Aging hopes to raise awareness about dementia and provide the community with support and ways to mitigate the onset dementia. With cognitive therapy treatments, we have been able to help people mitigate the onset of dementia by up to 2.25 years. The way to a healthy brain is a healthy lifestyle.
About John W. DenBoer, PhD
Dr. John DenBoer is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the assessment and detection of early-stage dementia. He is the creator of Smart Brain Aging a company that helps delay the onset of dementia and reduce its severity, through a science-backed brain training programme.
Dr DenBoer was inspired to become an expert in the field after his grandmother was diagnosed with dementia, robbing him of the woman who raised him.