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Local neuropsychologist Michelle Braun dispelling myths about Alzheimer's and memory loss

She's the hometown doctor who after training at Harvard and Yale is back in her native Wisconsin so folks can get the real story about Alzheimer's and memory loss.

Board certified neuropsychologist Dr. Michelle Braun was a special live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4.

She wants people to know that a family history does not mean you will get Alzheimer's.

"That's the most common myth," says Dr. Braun. "Half the people who have Alzheimer's do not have genetic risk. Half the people who have it, don't have genetic risk."

So what is the way to reduce the risk?

"Eating healthy and exercise are the magic bullets."

Dr. Braun suggests working your way up to 30 minutes of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day 4 to 5 times a week.

And when it comes to food?

A variant of the Mediterranean diet called the mind diet.

Lastly, when it comes to keeping the mind active the typical crossword puzzle just won't do.

Dr. Braun says increase the level of difficulty slightly in everything we do and we make sure we're doing a variety of things.

"A lot of those can serve as brain building activities and shield us from developing Alzheimer's in the future."

She says it can also slow the progression once diagnosed.

And they may even be better than any medicine.

"It's interesting to look at the research on memory medications and compare them to the lifestyle interventions," says Dr. Braun. "Some of those studies show that those behavioral interventions are more effective than memory medications."

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