Posted by Audiegrl
HealthDay/Amanda Gardner—Surfing the Internet just might be a way to preserve your mental skills as you age.
Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.
“You can teach an old brain new technology tricks,” said Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatry professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of iBrain. With people who had little Internet experience, “we found that after just a week of practice, there was a much greater extent of activity particularly in the areas of the brain that make decisions, the thinking brain — which makes sense because, when you’re searching online, you’re making a lot of decisions,” he said. “It’s interactive.”
Small is co-author of the research, which was scheduled to be presented Monday in Chicago at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.
“This makes intuitive sense, that getting on the Internet and exploring and getting new information and learning would help,” said Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa. “It supports the value of exploring the Internet for the elderly.”
Most experts now advocate a “use-it-or-lose-it” approach to mental functioning.
Posted by HershelWallingtonIV
Four years ago, Dawn was diagnosed with a rare, but treatable brain tumor. CIGNA denied her treatment for more than two years, but now that the spotlight’s on them, they’re changing their tune.
Unfortunately, they didn’t offer any explanation for all the previous denials or a guarantee that they’ll approve the next step in Dawn’s treatment. Can you sign this statement of support to shine a light on Big Insurance’s abusive tactics, get Dawn the care she needs and make sure they don’t do this to anyone again?—MoveOn.org
Read more about how Dawn and MoveOn.org forced CIGNA to do the right thing at Huffington Post
Stand with Dawn and MoveOn, you can make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
By David Brown, Washington Post Staff Writer—Two European research teams have identified three genes that affect a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in the elderly.
The new genes appear to have at least as big a role as four others discovered in the last 15 years that are known to play a role in Alzheimer’s.
“The message here is that genes are important in Alzheimer’s disease . . . and there may be multiple ways of reducing the risk that the genes produce,” said Julie Williams, a neuroscientist at Cardiff University in Wales who helped lead one of the teams.
All so-called “Alzheimer genes” have normal roles in brain physiology; they don’t exist solely to cause dementia. Instead, small variations in their DNA alter their function and, through processes only now being uncovered, increase or reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease.
Two of the genes described in the new research may be involved in determining the brain’s capacity to clear itself of toxic “amyloid” proteins that collect outside neurons, eventually poisoning them.
The most important previously known Alzheimer gene promoted overproduction of amyloid. The new findings suggest that at least two processes — production of amyloid and its removal — are involved in the disease.
At least 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By one estimate, one in seven people aged 72 and older have dementia, with Alzheimer’s the most common form.
Filed under Medicine, News