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Health Fusion: Memory problems do not always mean Alzheimer's disease, a new study shows

Alzheimer's disease is often a worry when an older person starts to have memory issues. But a new study shows that sometimes it's just part of normal aging. And in some cases, there may be things you can do about it. Viv Williams shares details in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."

Memory problems not always Alzheimer's disease
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ROCHESTER — Researchers from the University Cambridge in the UK compared the brain scans of two groups of older, frail adults. One group had Alzheimer's disease and the other didn't. In addition to the brain scans, study participants did other types of tests, including an assessment of cognitive (thinking and memory) skills. Study results showed that people without Alzheimer's performed as if they had it, but their brain scans looked normal.

The researcher say this means that problems with cognition can be part of normal aging.

It doesn't always meant someone has Alzheimer's disease.

They add that maybe issues with thinking and memory that are not Alzheimer's hinge on lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, stress, education, and cardiovascular health.

The encouraging news is that some lifestyle factors are modifiable — they are things you may be able to change to potentially improve your cognitive and overall health.

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This study was published in the journal iNeurosci.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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Viv Williams hosts the NewsMD podcast and column, "Health Fusion." She is an Emmy (and other) award-winning health and medical reporter whose stories have run on TV, digital and newspaper outlets nationwide. Viv is passionate about boosting people's health and happiness by helping them access credible, reliable and research-based health information from top experts. She regularly interviews experts and patients from leading medical institutions, such as Mayo Clinic.
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