Like most people, dementia fascinates and terrifies me. I read everything I can about it, and have shared many articles about dementia studies on our Manasota Elder Law Facebook page and Twitter account. But I’m seriously considering discontinuing that practice because I realized today that most of the articles about the studies provides no actual value, and may cause people to believe something that hasn’t been definitively proven to be true.
I pulled up a bunch of recent dementia-related articles on Google recently and this is what I saw:
- Large study links gum disease with dementia
- Visual impairment in older women linked to increased risk of dementia
- Study: Belly fat may be an indicator of dementia risk, especially for women
- Black People Suffer Disproportionately from Dementia Crisis
- Hearing and visual impairments linked to elevated dementia risk
- New Parkinson’s DBS [Deep Brain Stimulation] Research: Does Not Increase Dementia Risk
- Aluminium [it’s a UK article – that’s how they spell it] and fluoride in drinking water in relation to later dementia risk
Do you see a common theme? I do: No one actually knows what causes dementia – it’s all still a guessing game.
Who can say for sure that the people in the aluminum and fluoride study didn’t also have belly fat or gum disease? Or that maybe people with hearing or visual impairment have high fluoride levels? Apparently black people disproportionately suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes, which are alleged to be correlated to dementia. But perhaps there’s a link between belly fat, high blood pressure and diabetes?
I don’t know. I’m not a doctor or scientist. And neither are most of you. But I do know how to think critically and I also know there’s a huge difference between correlation and causation.
So, perhaps, until someone can absolutely prove that something always CAUSES dementia – not just that there’s a CORRELATION – we should stop worrying about things we can’t control and live the best, happiest and healthiest lives we can. And part of that is planning for the worst while hoping for the best.
So, when you see articles purporting to show a link between something and dementia, take it with a grain of salt. And maybe a shot of tequila. 🙂
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