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While there's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease or dementia, that cold hard fact might be easy to forget when you look at all the dietary supplements available promising to manage your symptoms and boost your brain power.
But if you're tempted to try something that word of mouth — or internet, TV or radio marketing — tells you is a proven, perhaps “natural,” way to hold onto your memory longer, it pays to be very, very wary. It's not that there's no science behind the idea that certain spices or vitamins may have memory-preserving powers. Indeed, curcumin and B vitamins, for example, have been shown to possibly have some benefits for brain health.
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The problem, as a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association laid out, is that “pseudomedicine” — misleading but scientific-sounding marketing — for such supplements is spreading faster than real studies about brain chemistry could possibly come out.
This fake news of health information, the authors wrote, is helping to drive a huge market — $3.2 billion in over-the-counter “treatments” to improve cognition and brain health in 2016 — that gives false hope to sufferers of dementia and their families.