Few things scare older adults more than the specter of Alzheimer's. The fear is often amplified or the caregiving is complicated by misconceptions about the disease. Mary Ann Malack-Ragona, executive director of the Alzheimer's Disease Resource Center in Bay Shore, passes along these top myths:
Over-the-counter medications can reverse memory loss.
Truth None can.
If a family member has Alzheimer's, you will get it, too.
Truth You may be at slightly higher risk, but poor lifestyle or depression appear to be higher risk factors.
All Alzheimer's patients become belligerent.
Truth There are behavioral treatments and techniques that can stem aggressive behavior.
Malack-Ragona is presenting four free presentations about Alzheimer's this month. The first session is Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton. If you can't attend that session, go to adrcinc.org or call 631-580-5100 for locations and times of the other January presentations in Huntington, Southampton and Riverhead.