Alzheimer’s is one of the most feared brain diseases. It robs people of their memory and has no cure, but few of us know the whole story. Here are seven common misunderstandings about Alzheimer?s disease and the truths behind them.
Myth: Some memory loss is normal. Many of us find that our memory isn?t what it once was, but there? a difference between being ?forgetful? and true memory loss.? It may take you longer to remember names or where you put something, but you?re able to get it back. That?s not memory loss, that?s aging.
If you?re forgetting important and familiar things – like the names of your family and loved ones, or if memory loss limits your ability to do simple tasks, then see a doctor.
Myth: Exercise, diet, and mental activities prevent Alzheimer?s disease. The scientific evidence is unclear how much a healthy lifestyle helps prevent Alzheimer?s. Eating a healthy diet, and regular aerobic exercise, staying socially active, and keeping your mind engaged with games and puzzles can lower the odds, but it depends on the individual case.
The issue is causation vs. correlation. That is, healthy lifestyles may be linked to a lesser likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s – that’s a correlation, but it’s not clear that lifestyle itself is causing that link, which is causation. People with healthy habits may have other traits working to their advantage, but there’s no proof that lifestyle itself prevents Alzheimer’s disease.
Some evidence exists that exercise helps cognition. Eating healthily, staying physically and mentally active, having nurturing relationships – even if it?s not a proof of preventing Alzheimer?s, it’s certainly good for you and your quality of life.