Thursday, October 16, 2008

Web surfing fights Alzheimer's

A recent study shows that surfing the internet improves brain function in middle-aged individuals and tackles later life dementia.

According to the study that will be published in the upcoming issue of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, compared to reading a book, surfing the net is more effective in stimulating brain function.

Findings revealed an improved activity in the temporal, parietal, and occipital lobes of the brain, responsible for language, reading, memory and visual abilities, when reading a book.

The study reported that web surfing not only stimulates the abovementioned areas but also enhances the activity in the frontal, temporal and cingulate areas of the brain, which control decision-making and complex reasoning.

Scientists believe keeping the brain active can alter chemistry signals linked to age-related brain changes - atrophy, reductions in cell activity, and increases in amyloid plaques and tau tangles deposits (Alzheimer's disease) - all of which can affect ones cognitive function.

Previous studies had reported that pursuing mind-engaging activities such as crossword puzzles and memory games lower the future risk of cognitive decline.