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article imageResearchers find a possible new tool to battle dementia: Google

By KJ Mullins     Nov 11, 2009 in Health
A study has found middle-aged and senior citizens can take a positive step toward fighting dementia simply by logging on to the Internet and wandering around.
Researchers from the University of California say it's not only the Internet, but the act of seeking out new information and learning that helps keep the brain in-tune reports National Geographic.
Scientists found using the Internet is less likely to bore their subjects in the long run.
The study involved 24 volunteers between the ages of 55 to 78. Half of the panel had experience going online and the other half had very limited Internet experience.
A baseline test was done using nonworking keyboards and mice. The subjects were asked to imagine doing an online search when being scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Those who had little experience on the Internet had little activity in their inferior frontal gyrus and middle frontal gyrus than those with experience. Those sections of the front lobe are key when it comes to short-term memory and making choices.
The groups were then asked to use Google's search engine for one hour a day during the following two weeks. They were given questions to find answers for during this time.
Brain scans following the two week period showed that the novice Googler's front gyrus had increased activity on par with those who were already experienced on the web.
While more studies are needed to continue the theory the researchers now speculate that visiting the Web can help fight dementia.
More about Dementia, Frontal gyru, Google
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