The specter of Alzheimer's haunts many aging adults, creating worries that basic memory slips mean that full-blown dementia is in their future. While Alzheimer's has justifiably received significant attention in recent years, people are often too quick to assume that any kind of cognitive impairment is Alzheimer's. A new report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies takes a look at the whole concept of cognitive aging.
Entitled Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action, the report is available in a free pre-publication pdf here. As it explores the issue of cognitive aging in some depth and is created by medical professionals, it is not necessarily an easy read for lay people, but it does raise several issues which many older adults and their adult children should think about.
Fear of developing Alzheimer's is understandable. However, it's important to realize that not all memory lapses mean that dementia is around the corner. It's also crucial that seniors take steps to keep their cognitive function in as good a shape as possible through recommendations such as those above.
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