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Computer Brain Training Exercise May Reduce Risk of Dementia by 29%, says Study

A computer brain training exercise designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visual attention can help seniors reduce risk of dementia by nearly a third

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Computer Brain Training
Computer Brain Training may reduce risk of dementia. Pixabay.
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New York, Nov 18: A computer brain training exercise designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visual attention can help seniors reduce risk of dementia by nearly a third, suggest results of a 10-year study.

This exercise is known as “speed of processing training”, “useful field of view training”, or “UFOV training.

“Speed of processing computer brain training resulted in decreased risk of dementia across the 10-year period of, on average, 29 per cent as compared to the control,” said lead study author Jerri Edwards from University of South Florida in the US.

“When we examined the dose-response, we found that those who trained more received more protective benefit,” Edwards added.

The study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions, enrolled 2,802 healthy older adults in the US and followed them as they aged from an average of 74 to 84 years.

Participants were divided into a control group or one of three intervention arms using different types of cognitive training.

One group received instruction on memory strategies and another group received instruction on reasoning strategies. The third group received individualised computerised speed of processing training.

Researchers found no significant difference in risk of dementia for the strategy-based memory or reasoning training groups, as compared to the control group.

However, as compared to the control group, the computerised speed training group showed significantly less risk of dementia — averaging a 29 per cent risk reduction.

When reviewing the impact of each computerised speed training session completed, researchers found those who completed more sessions had lower risk.

The computerised speed training task or the computer brain training exercise was designed to improve the speed and accuracy of visual attention, including both divided and selective attention exercises.

The computer brain training exercise was developed by Karlene Ball of the University of Alabama Birmingham and Dan Roenker of Western Kentucky University – both in the US. (IANS)

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Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly

Gout -- a very common condition -- is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation

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Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly
Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly . (IANS)

Elderly people suffering from gout may have 17-20 per cent higher risk of dementia, suggests a new study by a team that includes an Indian-origin researcher.

Gout — a very common condition — is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation.

Periods of time when patients are experiencing gout symptoms are called flares. Flares can be unpredictable and debilitating, developing over a few hours and causing severe pain in the joints.

“Our study found a considerable increased risk of dementia associated with gout in the elderly,” said co-author Jasvinder Singh, a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the US.

For the study, presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018), the researchers included 1.23 million Medicare beneficiaries, of which 65,325 had incident dementia.

Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure
Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds raises with Blood Pressure . Pixabay

In an analysis which was adjusted for various potential confounding variables including demographics, comorbidities and commonly used medications, the results showed that gout is independently associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia.

The association was larger in older age groups, females, black race, and people with higher medical comorbidity.

Subgroup analyses indicated that gout was associated with a significant 20-57 per cent increase in dementia in patients without key comorbidities; coronary artery disease (CAD), hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension.

Also Read: Study: Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure

However, this was not the case in patients with each of these comorbidities, except in patients with CAD, the researchers said.

Guidelines for the treatment of gout recommend lowering uric acid levels, although maintaining too low levels is a concern because uric acid is thought to protect the brain, they added.

“Further study is needed to explore these relationships and understand the pathogenic pathways involved in this increased risk,” Singh noted. (IANS)