Brain Health, Myths Versus Reality, Continued

Last time we discussed the myths, and the realities, of keeping your brain healthy and boosting memory. Now let’s look at some more examples.

Myth: You can’t stop Alzheimer’s disease.

While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, research suggests that eating well, staying engaged with others, reducing stress and stimulating your brain with new activities can slow the onset of symptoms by several years. In a study by Rush University in Chicago, making just one change—eating plenty of fruits and vegetables while consuming less meat and sweets—can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia by as much as 53 percent.

Myth: Brain games make you smarter.

70 of the world’s leading brain scientists released a statement in 2014 rejecting the idea that computerized brain training can improve cognitive powers. Until we know more, you are better off using proven bran boosters such as meditation and socializing with friends.

Myth: Your mind gets worse with age.

Actually, older brains have some advantages. Why? The network of fibers that allow nerve cells to talk to each other gets richer as brains age. This results in older people relying more on both sides of their brains than younger people do, which could account for the wisdom and emotional balance that seem to increase with age. In addition, with the brain’s right and left hemispheres getting more integrated, creative potential increases. Older adults also benefit from superior “crystallized” intelligence, including the skills, experience and knowledge gained over a lifetime.

To read the entire AARP article, go to