Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Alzheimer's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Age and Dementia Don't Have to Go Hand in Hand


But the other six had no evidence of mental decline, says Morris. He says, however, that "we have no idea why these six survived intact. ... They had a wide range of occupations and they came from diverse ethnic backgrounds." He says that when they died, not only was there no evidence of Alzheimer's disease in their brains but also no evidence of stroke, a finding that ties into Haan's data on heart disease risk factors and risk for mental decline.

Zaven S. Khachaturian, PhD, senior scientific advisor of the Alzheimer's Association, takes the case for healthy aging of the brain a few steps further. He tells WebMD, "there is no such thing as an aging brain in the sense that it connotes some pivotal event or period when something happens that is not desirable. Aging of the brain is a continuous, linear process that begins at conception. Moreover, the brain is a unique organ in that it has enormous recuperative characteristics and the ability to constantly rewire itself and regenerate for more efficient operation. So, we are actually given a set of neurons with a lifetime guarantee."

Khachaturian, who is a former director of the office of Alzheimer's disease research at NIH, says that when mental difficulties arise, it is not a function of aging "but rather of disease." He says that both physicians and the public are resistant to this concept.

For example, he says that the 90-year-old who visits a physician complaining of a painful left knee is often told that the pain is a normal side effect of aging. "But the 90-year-old thinks, and then points out, that his other knee doesn't hurt and it, too, is 90 years old," says Khachaturian. Knee pain, he says, is probably caused by inflammation, a physical cause, he says. He adds that the same case should be made for mental decline.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Remember your finger
When it’s more than just forgetfulness.
senior man with serious expression
Which kinds are treatable?
senior man
Common symptoms to look for.
mri scan of human brain
Can drinking red wine reverse the disease?
eating blueberries
Colored mri of brain
Close up of elderly couple holding hands
mature woman
Woman comforting ailing mother
Senior woman with serious expression