6 Common Think Myths About Aging

1. Myth: Dementia is an inevitable part of aging.

Fact: “Dementia ought to be seen as a modifiable health condition and, if it happens, ought to be followed as a medical condition, not a standard a part of aging,” aforesaid Patricia Harris, MD, a geriatrician and associate professor at Georgetown University Medical Center. In other words, if you or your loved one becomes forgetful, it could be related to medication, nutrition, or modifiable medical issues, she said. Don’t assume Alzheimer’s.

Just contemplate that once doctors examined the brain of a 115-year-old lady United Nations agency, once she died, was the world’s oldest lady, they found essentially normal brain tissue, with no evidence of Alzheimer’s or other dementia-causing conditions. Testing in the years before she died showed no loss in brain function.

Not solely is insanity not inevitable with age, but you actually have some control over whether or not you develop it.

“We’re only now starting to understand the linkages between health in your 40s, 50s, and 60s and cognitive function later in life,” said Richard Powers, MD, who chairs the medical advisory board of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Studies notice that several of identifying risk factors that contribute to heart disease— high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity— may also contribute to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

For instance, studies on the brains of older individuals with and while not insanity notice vital vessel injury in those with cardiovascular disease. Such damage shrinks the amount of healthy brain tissue you have in reserve, reducing the amount available if a disease like Alzheimer’s hits, Dr. Powers says. That’s important, he says, because we’re starting to understand that the more brain function you have to begin with, the more you can afford to lose before your core functions are affected.

One way to dodge the dementia bullet?

Exercise your body and your brain. Physical activity plays a role in reducing the risk of diseases that cause Alzheimer’s. It also builds up that brain reserve. One study found simply six months of normal physical activity accrued brain volume in fifty-nine healthy however couch-potato people ages sixty to seventy-nine. Other analysis finds those that who exercised double per week over a median of twenty-one years slashed their risk of Alzheimer’s in 0.5.

Then there’s an intellectual exercise. “I encourage regular intellectual stimulation,” says Dr. Powers. It doesn’t matter what kind, just that you break out of your comfort zone. Even writing letters twice a week instead of sending e-mail can have brain-strengthening benefits, he said. That’s as a result of such novel activities stimulate additional regions of the brain, increasing blood flow and serving to not solely build brain connections, however, improve the health of existing tissue.

2. Myth: If you didn’t exercise in your 20s, 30s, and 40s, it’s too late to start in your 50s, 60s, or 70s.

Fact: It’s never too late! In an oft-cited study, 50 men and women with an average age of 87 worked out with weights for 10 weeks and increased their muscle strength 113 percent. Even more important, they also increased their walking speed, a marker of overall physical health in the elderly.

3. Myth: Sex ends when you age.

Fact: A survey of 3005 folks ages fifty-seven to eighty-five found the possibility of being sexually active depended on the maximum amount if less on their health and their partner’s health than on their age. Women who rated their health as “very good” or “excellent” were 79 percent more likely to be sexually active than women who rated their health as “poor” or “fair.” And whereas fewer folks ages seventy-five to eighty-five had sex than those fifty-seven to seventy-four, more than half (54 percent) of those who were sexually active had intercourse two or three times a month. Just remember: Sexually transmitted diseases don’t discriminate supported age. If you’re not in a monogamous relationship, you or your partner should use a condom.

4. Myth: Getting older is depressing so expect to be depressed.

Fact: Again, says Dr. Harris, no way! “D****n is highly treatable. If older people could just admit to it and get help, they could probably live a much more active and healthy life.” That’s because studies find that older people who are depressed are more likely to develop memory and learning problems, while other research links depression to an increased risk of death from numerous age-related diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and pneumonia.

5. Myth: Women fear aging.

Fact: Not so! A survey conducted on behalf of the National Women’s Health Resource Center found that women tend to have a positive outlook on aging and to be inspired by others who also have positive attitudes and who stay active as they grow older. Women surveyed were most likely to view aging as “an adventure and opportunity” and less likely to view it as depressing or a struggle.

6. Myth: The pain and disability caused by arthritis are inevitable as you get older.

Fact: While arthritis is more common as you age, thanks to the impact of time on the cushiony cartilage that prevents joints and bone from rubbing against one another, age itself doesn’t cause arthritis. There are steps you can take in your youth to prevent it, such as losing weight, wearing comfortable, supportive shoes (as opposed to three-inch spikes), and taking it easy with joint-debilitating exercises like running and basketball. One study found ladies United Nations agency exercised a minimum of once each fortnight for a minimum of twenty minutes were a lot of less doubtless to develop an inflammatory disease of the knee (the most common location for the disease) than ladies United Nations agency exercised less.