September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which means there is no better time to learn more about your brain and how to keep it healthy. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia that negatively impacts memory, leading to memory loss, thinking and behavioral problems.
The Alzheimer’s Disease International website said that dementia is most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s. “Dementia is a term used to describe different brain disorders that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion.”
It’s estimated that over 36 million people in the world suffer from dementia.
During this awareness month, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Harris Interactive also happened to release a survey demonstrating the average American’s thoughts and knowledge on brain health.
But how does Parkinson’s disease have anything to do with dementia, Alzheimer’s and brain health? According to the MJFF website, dementia could actually be a symptom of Parkinson’s.
Cognitive impairment in general is a symptom of the disease. And Parkinson’s is considered to be a neurological disorder.
If you didn’t know that, you’re not alone. Many Americans have limited knowledge when it comes to brain health, even if 17 percent think about their brain’s health on a daily basis, according to the survey.
According to the survey, three out of five (60 percent) Americans will at some point suffer from a brain disease. However, Americans believe on average that only 36 percent of Americans are at risk for getting a brain disease.
Many Americans (74 percent) also believe the myth that mental skills decline with age, which is not necessarily true. In fact, researchers show that certain skills can actually sharpen with age, like “social wisdom” and vocabulary.
The general population also doesn’t realize for the most part that there can be gender differences in brain disease.
Although 71 percent of Americans think that women and men have equal risk of acquiring a brain disease, research shows that specific diseases are more likely to affect specific genders, according to the survey.