I forgot where I parked the car. Should I worry? I walk into a room and forget why. Do I have Alzheimer’s?
As a neuroscientist and author of Still Alice, Lisa Genova is often asked these questions.
“I’ve been talking about Alzheimer’s and memory for over a decade, using Still Alice as the vehicle for conversation,” she says. And given her expertise in brain health, it’s not surprising people readily share with her their concerns.
“While the conversation always started with Alzheimer’s, it would migrate eventually over to questions about memory and forgetting that weren’t really questions about Alzheimer’s, but people didn’t know that,” she says.
Genova says this is a typical fear after we turn 40. In our 20s and 30s, we probably weren’t paying as close attention to our memory issues but in our 40s, we fear that all forgetting is a sign of Alzheimer’s. But this is simply not true, she notes: “These moments of forgetting are so 100 percent normal and they do occur regularly, every day.”
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