If you didn’t know better, you’d think Alzheimer’s disease is the plot of a bad horror movie: A creeping silent killer steals your memories, distorts your experiences of the present, and transforms your family’s love into dutiful pity.
Two studies recently implicated diet and regular soda, suggesting that people who regularly consumed it had higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Given that personal genetics tests like 23andMe let people determine whether they carry this maybe-you-have-it mutation, findings of things like the soda study can lead to self-diagnostic panic. But don’t drive yourself crazy worrying about this. Like most diseases, Alzheimer’s is the things you can and cannot control.
Studies that warn of things like that describe environmental risks, not genetic ones. But those risks only suggest a probable statistical association between two things that have already happened: getting Alzheimer’s and something else. The studies linking soda consumption to Alzheimer’s used retrospective analyses: Researchers examined data collected over a long period of time. Such analyses are notoriously difficult to interpret.
Functionally, those studies don’t really tell you anything at all about whether or not you will get Alzheimer’s. The combination of causes is too obtuse for any one lifestyle change to make a difference.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: When Is It Worth Worrying About Dementia?
For more background on the Genetic Literacy Project, read GLP on Wikipedia