Research proves that the longer your driving experience to more places, the better developed your sense of direction will be. This skill improvement is attributed to the part of the brain that governs your capability to navigate to different places called the entorhinal region.
Now, what does this have to do with Alzheimer’s Disease? If you notice that you are more often getting lost or having trouble getting from one place to the other, then this is the same region of your brain that is affected. And this is where Alzheimer’s Disease starts to develop. The entorhinal cortex serves as a gateway to the hippocampus which is responsible for long-term memory. So if your entorhinal cortex is impaired then your hippocampus can be impaired as well.
Based on a study conducted by researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis, people with early stages of the disease who were shown a virtual maze on the computer were not able to create a mental map of the maze and had difficulty getting around it.
Although this study does not fully prove that if you are having a hard time finding your way around places that you are bound to get Alzheimer’s. But this could be a good early warning signal for anyone to heed caution. Alzheimer’s affects more than 5 Million Americans this year and early awareness and detection of this disease is crucial to one’s safety and well-being.
Sources: health.usnews.com, dailymail.co.uk, newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu
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