The study showed that using a computer might be a positive influence as we enter our twilight years.

A study released today strengthens the ever-deepening connections between maintaining a busy brain and reducing the risk of cognitive decline in later life.

As we age, our brain faces an inevitable decline. Not only does the brain physically shrink, but there are also changes on a cellular and vascular level.

Studies have primarily focused on the effects of physical and mental activity, diet and the use of supplements. All seem to play at least some role in maintaining the brain's youth and vigor.

There are multiple problems in measuring the impact of any one factor on the aging brain. By its very definition, an aging brain is attached to an aging body, both of which have had a myriad of experiences, both positive and negative.

The results were most marked in regards to those who used computers; the data showed that the participants using a computer on a weekly basis were less likely to develop memory and thinking problems over the course of the trials. Of the computer-use group, 17.9% of participants showed mild cognitive decline; for those who did not use a computer, the figure was 30.9%.

Overall, people in the group that used the computer regularly were 42% less likely to show cognitive decline.

Similarly, compared with individuals who did not, those who indulged in social activities or read magazines were less likely to develop memory problems by 23% and 30%, respectively.
Individuals involved in craft activities, including knitting, were 16% less likely to have memory impairments, and those who regularly played games were 14% less likely.

The results will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, in April.

Although the authors stress that the research shows association rather than cause and effect, the weight of evidence in this regard has been mounting for some time. The moral of the story appears to be that any type of mental exercise is better than none.

Third-party Ads