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article imageComputer-literate older men have reduced incidence of dementia

By Nancy Houser     Oct 4, 2012 in Health
Sydney - A new Australian study has found that older men who use desktop computers have a 40% reduced incidence of dementia --- not the same thing as saying that computer use reduces the risk of Dementia. The study simply established the relationship.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia’s Center for Health and Aging used the Health in Men Study (HIMS) group for their observations, following them for about 8.5 years. Their data was based on 5,506 men whose ages ranged from 69 to 87-years-of-age, according to HitBSecNews. One-third of the men's group used computers.
"As the world's population ages, the number of people experiencing cognitive decline and dementia will increase to 50 million by 2025," said study co-author Osvaldo Almeida, professor at the University of Western Australia (UWA), posted in Yahoo!
Study questions and answers
Questions asked the study group, "How often do you use a personal computer?" According to The Register, the answers they were to choose from were: (1) never; (2) every day, (3) at least every week; and (4) less than every week. Those who responded with answer #1 were classified as non-computer users, while those who responded to the remaining answers were classified as computer-users.
Individuals who were listed as computer users were asked the question, "What do you use a personal computer for?" The participants could choose one or more from (1) word processing; (2) Internet; (3) email; (4) games; and (5) other.
When the answers were analyzed, it was concluded that, “Computer users had a more active social network and were less likely than non-users to show evidence of clinically significant depressive symptoms or medical morbidity...the research also found 'dementia for computer non-users and users was 13.3 per 1000 persons per year'. Incidence of dementia among computer users was 40% lower."
The Amazing World of Psychiatry
Early symptoms of dementia
* Forgetting names and appointments
* Losing things
* Difficulty performing familiar tasks - driving or managing personal finances
* Mood swings with anger or rage
* Paranoia
* Suspiciousness
According to study, PLOS ONE reported that the men's risk of getting dementia decreased the more they used the computers. However, the researchers stated that the reduced dementia incidence “... cannot be attributed to age, education, social isolation, depression, poor physical health, or prevalent cognitive impairment.”
More about computerliterate, Older men, reduced incidence, Dementia, reduced incidence of dementia
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