Myth 1: Memory loss is a natural part of aging.
In the past people believed memory loss was a normal part of aging, often regarding even Alzheimers as natural age-related decline. Experts now recognize severe memory loss as a symptom of serious illness.
Whether memory naturally declines to some extent remains an open question. Many people feel that their memory becomes less sharp as they grow older, but determining whether there is any scientific basis for this belief is a research challenge still being addressed.
Myth 2: Alzheimers disease is not fatal.
Alzheimers is a fatal disease. It begins with the destruction of cells in regions of the brain that are important for memory. However, the eventual loss of cells in other regions of the brain leads to the failure of other essential systems in the body. Also, because many people with Alzheimers have other illnesses common in older age, the actual cause of death may be no single factor.
Myth 3: Drinking out of aluminum cans or cooking in aluminum pots and pans can lead to Alzheimers disease.
Based on current research, getting rid of aluminum cans, pots, and pans will not protect you from Alzheimers disease. The exact role (if any) of aluminum in Alz-heimers disease is still being researched and debated. However, most researchers believe that not enough evidence exists to consider aluminum a risk factor for Alzheimers or a cause of dementia. See our Aluminum and Alzheimer's Disease fact sheet (PDF).
Myth 4: Aspartame causes memory loss.
Several studies have been conducted on aspartames effect on cognitive function in both animals and humans. These studies found no scientific evidence of a link between aspartame and memory loss. Aspartame was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 for use in all foods and beverages. The sweetener, marketed as Nutrasweet® and Equal®, is made by joining two protein components, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, with 10 percent metha-nol. Methanol is widely found in fruits, vegetables and other plant foods.