Dementia: Can computers minimise the risk?

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Dementia: Can computers minimise the risk?

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Computer use may reduce the risk of dementia

Computers have massively expanded over the years and are growing at a rapid pace. New technology is being introduced everyday and computers are now used on daily basis and are fundamental at workplaces. A new study has been taken into place where computers are shown to prevent memory loss at an old age.

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The study

The study of nearly 2,000 over-70s by the Mayo Clinic in the US investigated how using computers in order to keep the brain ticking can reduce the risk of memory loss and at a push even dementia. Activities such as knitting and reading magazines can prevent memory loss but do not have as great of an impact as regular computer use. An estimate of 61% of over 70s now spend as much as 20 hours per week on computers which is showing significant reductions in people developing memory loss and other similar problems.

Reading a magazine regularly was found to lower the chance of neurodegeneration by a huge 30%, the completion of puzzles such as crosswords and quiz’s reduces the chance of neurodegeneration by a smaller 14% but when compared to using a computer at just once a week reduces the chances of developing neurodegeneration by a staggering 40%.

“The results show the importance of keeping the mind active as we age,” said study author Dr Janina Krell-Roesch, of Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

All participants that took part in the study all had normal thinking and memory abilities and then were tracked for four years to see how there thinking and memory abilities had fallen.  193 out of 1,077 people (17.9 percent) in the computer use group developed mild cognitive impairment, compared to 263 out of 852 (30.9 percent) people in the group that did not report computer use.

The results were extremely positive and show how vital it is to keep the brain working as it is a muscle and therefore needs ‘exercise’ in order to maintain a normal memory status at an older age.

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