Monday, July 08, 2013

Social Media Can Help Old People Stave Off Senility


Although it appears to not be working out for Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a new study published last week by the American Academy of Neurology-- Life-span cognitive activity, neuropathologic burden, and cognitive aging-- indicates that brain-stimulating activities helps preserve memory as we age. Late last month we tried shedding light on the fallacies around the pop culture conventional wisdom about digital dementia. The implications of this study go even further. Blogging can save your mind.

The study involved 294 people who were tested for memory and thinking every year for six years until they died, at which point, their brains were examined through autopsy for physical signs of dementia.
[R]esearchers discovered that individuals who participated in mentally stimulating activities in both early and late life showed a slower decline of memory compared to those who did not participate in such activities during their lifetime. Mental activity accounted for about 15 percent of the difference in decline, beyond the percentage that could be explained by plaques and tangles present in the brain.

Study author, Dr. Robert S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said, "Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these from across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age."

The research also showed the rate of decline was reduced by 32 percent in individuals participating in frequent mental activity during late life in comparison to people participating in average mental activity. The rate of decline in those who participated in infrequent activity was 48 percent faster than those participating in average activity levels.

"Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents," Wilson further explained.

"More frequent cognitive activity across the life span has an association with slower late-life cognitive decline that is independent of common neuropathologic conditions, consistent with the cognitive reserve hypothesis," the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract.

Of the 10 oldest members of the Senate-- each over 75 years old-- only two have announced retirement, Jay Rockefeller (the youngest of the bunch) and Carl Levin.
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)- 1933
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)- 1933
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)- 1934
Richard Shelby (R-AL)- 1934
Carl Levin (D-MI)- 1934
Jim Inhofe (R-OK)- 1934
Pat Roberts (R-KS)- 1936
Barbara Milkulski (D-MD)- 1936
John McCain (R-AZ)- 1936
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)- 1937
Older than any of them is a Texas congressman, Ralph Hall, who was born in 1923 and was rewarded for being a loud opponent of climate science and a nonbeliever in evolution by being appointed chairman of the House Science Committee by John Boehner. In February, he joined Twitter-- @RalphHallPress, indicating he probably doesn't operate the twitter feed himself.
"First thing-- the name fascinates me. Twitter-- where did they get that?

"...I am pleased to join Twitter in an effort to enhance communication with constituents of the 4th District of Texas. Twitter will allow my constituents to follow important votes and daily activity on Capitol Hill, as well as important issues facing our Nation.

"Twitter is also an economically responsible form of communication-- no taxpayer dollars were spent to open my account, and constituents can read and join Twitter for free. It is my priority to listen to the voices of my constituents and focus my efforts on their behalf, and Twitter will enhance my ability to do so."
Not likely to stave off senility and... too late anyway.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home