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Surfing the Net can Help Slow Down Dementia in Elderly

by VR Sreeraman on October 20, 2009 at 2:07 PM
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Surfing the Net can Help Slow Down Dementia in Elderly

You can stop your ageing grandparents from becoming forgetful by simply asking them to surf the net, for a new study has found that Googling can consistently stimulate brain to slow or even reverse the age-related declines that can end in dementia.

Professor of neuroscience and human behaviour at University of California, Los Angeles, Gary Small, observed 24 men and women aged between 55 and 78 to reach the conclusion.

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Half of the people were regular users of the net, while the remaining persons were not.

It was learnt that the Internet stimulated the mind greater compared to reading, Timesonline reports.

Also the effects of an Internet session apparently continued for a long period after it had ended.
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During the research, the brains of the participants were scanned using a technique known as functional magnetic resonance imaging, while they conducted a series of searches on the web.

The purpose of which was to measure changes in blood flow around the brain to figure out which was the most and least active parts of the brain.

The participants then headed home where they surfed the net to carry out specified tasks for an hour a day at least seven times over the following fortnight, after which another brain scan was done while using the net.

The researchers learnt that the impacts began immediately, with the first scan demonstrating brain activity in regions controlling language, reading, memory and vision.

However, the second scan result found that the activated areas had widened to the frontal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, which are significant areas in working memory and decision-making.

The researchers reached the conclusion that Internet searching stimulates brain cells and pathways, making them more active.

Teena Moody, a UCLA researcher who co- wrote the report with Small, said: "Searching online may be a simple form of brain exercise that might be employed to enhance cognition in older adults."

The research will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Chicago.

Source: ANI
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