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C. The Facts About Aging And Dementia

Narrator: This is Science Today. Michael Weiner, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco says people who consider dementia a normal part of aging had better think again.

Weiner: There really is no such thing as age-related senility. If an older person begins to lose cognitive function, there is a cause of it - it could be due to hormones, it could be due to vitamins, it could be due to a stroke or it could be due to Alzheimer's Disease.

Narrator: Weiner says there are certain changes in normal aging which do slow down the process of thinking and even a condition called associated memory impairment.

Weiner: That is, that some older people start to feel that they really have impaired memory, they can't remember names as well. These people are very fearful and their families are very fearful when they start to have these symptoms that they are going to develop Alzheimer's Disease. Many of these people do not go on to develop Alzheimer's Disease, but some ultimately do.

Narrator: Weiner suggests those concerned about Alzheimer's, first rule out other causes of impairment such as low thyroid or vitamin deficiencies. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.