Glossary #5

I found two informational terms under consumer health website for Health Literacy; it makes sense to know about them.  There is so much detail for Health Literacy.   For instance, Health Literacy is multi-dimensional and it has four domains:  Scientific literacy, Fundamental literacy, Civic literacy, and Cultural lieracy.   I think the first two domains are useful for health professionals and IT personnel who manage electronic records and technology.   I am interested personally in Civic literacy and cultural literacy as a consumer.  The third term is the common problem among the elderly in particular; Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Civic Literacy
  • Cultural Literacy
  • Alzheirmer’s disease

Health Literacy is the degree to which people have the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and what service one needs to make proper health decisions. Civic literacy, however, is being aware of public issues and being involved in the decision-making process.  I guess an example would be an outbreak of some kind like the ongoing whopping cough.   You might attend a town meeting regarding a health issue.

Cultural literacy is the ability to recognize, understand, and use the collective beliefs, customs, worldview, and social identity of diverse individuals to interpret and act on information.   To me, it sounds like to know other cultural practices and their ways of dealing with health issues.   I am not sure how many health care professionals do this as their practice is conventional but hopefully the Naturopathics apply this kind of understanding.   I think they do because they try natural approach and when you talk to them about herbal treatments and other natural treatments that are practiced elsewhere, a naturopathic listens and has told me his or her opinion.


Alzheimer’s disease has different definitions but similar in detail.  So it means that an individual has a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.  Studies also say that there are definite changes in the brain compared to another brain without this disease.  People who have this dementia cannot remember recent events but they can remember things that took place years ago.   This disease is common in people who are getting older and if it runs in the family.  Researchers are saying that this is not a normal part of aging and this problem arises from two types of nerve damage: 

  • “Nerve cells get tangles, called neurofibrillary tangles.
  • Protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques build up in the brain.”




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