Memory in older men saved by 'Ram'

September 4, 2012
Memory in older men saved by 'Ram'

(Medical Xpress)—Having access to a personal computer lowers or decreases the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older men by up to 40 per cent, according to researchers at The University of Western Australia.

Winthrop Professor Osvaldo Almeida and his colleagues undertook an eight-year study of more than 5000 Perth men aged from 65 to 85.  The results are published in the journal .

Professor Almeida is Research Director at the UWA-affiliate, the Centre for Health and Ageing.

"As the world's population ages, the number of people experiencing and dementia will increase to 50 million by 2025," he said.  "But if our findings are correct, the increase in the number of cases of dementia over the next 40 years may not be as dramatic as is currently expected." 

Professor Almeida said previous studies showed that cognitively-stimulating activities decreased the risk of dementia but there was little evidence on the likely effect of computer use over many years.

"So it got us thinking, with personal computer ownership on the increase, could it make a difference? We found that it did, and that there was a significant benefit," he said.

The researchers found that computer users were younger than non-users, had completed at least high school, had a more active social network and were less likely to show evidence of depression or poor physical health.

They found that the risk of dementia was about 30 to 40 per cent lower among older computer users than non-users and that their findings could not be attributed to age, education, , depression, overall health or .

Older people should therefore be encouraged to embrace computer technology as long as they understand the dangers of prolonged and the many advantages of a balanced and , the authors write.

The research is part of Australia's longest-running longitudinal study of men's health and ageing.  It has been following a group of more than 19,000 men since 1996.

Explore further: Binge drinking increases the risk of cognitive decline in older adults

Related Stories

Binge drinking increases the risk of cognitive decline in older adults

July 18, 2012
Researchers from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, will present the findings of a new study suggesting a link between binge drinking in older adults and the risk of developing dementia.

Attitude towards age increases risk of dementia diagnosis

June 11, 2012
Our attitude towards our age has a massive impact on the likelihood of being diagnosed with dementia. New research shows that when seniors see themselves as 'older' their performance on a standard dementia screening test ...

Dementia, mild cognitive impairment common in 'oldest old' women

May 9, 2011
Mild cognitive impairment, dementia, and their subtypes are common in the "oldest old" women, which includes those 85 years of age and older, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology.

Empathetic GPs may reduce depression and suicidal thoughts

July 18, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Between five and 10 per cent of people over 60 suffer from depression - a common and disabling disorder. It is predicted that depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide within ...

Think you're in poor health? It could increase your odds of dementia

October 5, 2011
People who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a study published in the October 5, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal ...

Recommended for you

New shoe makes running 4 percent easier, 2-hour marathon possible, study shows

November 17, 2017
Eleven days after Boulder-born Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon in new state-of-the-art racing flats known as "4%s," University of Colorado Boulder researchers have published the study that inspired the shoes' ...

Vaping while pregnant could cause craniofacial birth defects, study shows

November 16, 2017
Using e-cigarettes during pregnancy could cause birth defects of the oral cavity and face, according to a recent Virginia Commonwealth University study.

Study: For older women, every movement matters

November 16, 2017
Folding your laundry or doing the dishes might not be the most enjoyable parts of your day. But simple activities like these may help prolong your life, according to the findings of a new study in older women led by the University ...

When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat healthier, study finds

November 16, 2017
When healthier food, like vegetables and dairy products, is pricier compared to unhealthy items, like salty snacks and sugary sweets, Americans are significantly less likely to have a high-quality diet, a new Drexel University ...

Children's exposure to secondhand smoke may be vastly underestimated by parents

November 15, 2017
Four out of 10 children in the US are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to the American Heart Association. A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that parents who smoke mistakenly rely on their own physical senses ...

How pomegranate extract alters breast cancer stem cell properties

November 15, 2017
A University at Albany research team has found evidence suggesting that the same antioxidant that gives pomegranate fruit their vibrant red color can alter the characteristics of breast cancer stem cells, showing the superfood's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.