More than 5 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s, and that number could rise to 16 million by the year 2050.
As the scientific community continues to try and understand Alzheimer’s and similar diseases, new research is leading to some revolutionary discoveries. According to Science Alert, scientists have just discovered a crucial link between eye disease and Alzheimer’s.
A study that took place across five years, covering 3,877 patients above the age of 65, found that those with specific degenerative eye diseases were actually between 40% and 50% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, as well.
“We don’t mean people with these eye conditions will get Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead researcher Cecilia Lee, of the University of Washington School of Medicine. “The main message from this study is that ophthalmologists should be more aware of the risks of developing dementia for people with these eye conditions, and primary care doctors seeing patients with these eye conditions might be more careful on checking on possible dementia or memory loss.”
The research has been published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
“What we found was not subtle,” added researcher Paul Crane. “This study solidifies that there are mechanistic things we can learn from the brain by looking at the eye.”
Over the years, there have been plenty of misconceptions when it comes to understanding Alzheimer’s. Clearly, there is much more to be done in terms of research and development before we fully understand this debilitating disease, but we can at least put an end to the rumors. Here are some of the most common myths regarding Alzheimer’s disease:
- Alzheimer and dementia are two separate things
- Alzheimer’s is not an inherited disease
- Alzheimer’s disease is a normal part of aging
- Alzheimer’s disease medications will stop the progression of my disease progress
- Visiting someone with Alzheimer’s is pointless
- Alzheimer’s is an almost inevitable consequence of aging
- Alzheimer’s only affects the elderly
- Alzheimer’s isn’t treatable