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“We can do something about this,” said Dr. Ronald Petersen, a Mayo Clinic dementia specialist who had no role in the study. A common misconception is that you’re “dealt a deck of cards at birth,” he said, but “people need not just sit back and watch this unfold.”

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Online:

National Institute on Aging: http://www.nia.nih.gov/Alzheimers

Alzheimer's Association: http://www.alz.org

Lancet: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(11)70072-2/abstract

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Marilynn Marchione can be followed at http://twitter.com/MMarchioneAP