Tuesday February 25, 2020

Tea Drinkers Have Healthier Brain Functioning, Research Suggests

Tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers, research suggests

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Green Tea, Brain, Research, Tea
Matcha is the finely ground powder of new leaves from shade-grown (90 per cent shade) Camellia sinensis green tea bushes. Wikimedia Commons

Research suggests that regular tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers.

“Our results offer the first evidence of positive contribution of tea drinking to brain structure, and suggest that drinking tea regularly has a protective effect against age-related decline in brain organisation,” according to a study authored by Feng Lei, Assistant Professor from the National University of Singapore.

Previous researchers have demonstrated that tea intake is beneficial to human health and the positive effects include mood improvement and cardiovascular disease prevention.

Green Tea, Brain, Research, Tea
Tea drinkers have better organised brain regions and this is associated with healthy cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers. Wikimedia Commons

For the study published in the journal Aging, the research team recruited 36 adults aged 60 and above and gathered data about their health, lifestyle and psychological well-being.

The elderly participants also had to undergo neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The study was carried out from 2015 to 2018.

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Upon analysing the participants’ cognitive performance and imaging results, the research team found that individuals who consumed either green tea, oolong tea, or black tea at least four times a week for about 25 years had brain regions that were interconnected in a more efficient way.

“We have shown in our previous studies that tea drinkers had better cognitive function as compared to non-tea drinkers,” Lei said.

“Our current results relating to brain network indirectly support our previous findings by showing that the positive effects of regular tea drinking are the result of improved brain organisation brought about by preventing disruption to interregional connections,” he added. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Funds Six AI-based Projects in India

Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers

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Google
Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google's global network of researchers. Pixabay

Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation.

Google Research India will provide each team with funding and computational resources in addition to supporting the efforts with expertise in computer vision, natural language processing, and other deep learning techniques, the company said in a statement.

“We are increasingly seeing people apply AI to address big challenges. Therefore, we have made research in AI for Social Good one of the key focus areas of Google Research India — the AI lab we started in Bengaluru last year in September,” said Manish Gupta, Director, Google Research Team, India.

Among the six projects are improving health information for high HIV/AIDS risk communities from team from IIT Delhi led by Tavpritesh Sethi, team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham and nonprofit Swasti.

Researchers from IIT Madras led by Balaraman Ravindran and nonprofit Armman will use AI to predict the risk of expectant mothers dropping out of healthcare programmes, to improve targeted interventions and increase positive healthcare outcomes for mothers and their babies.

The team from Singapore Management University led by Arunesh Sinha and nonprofit Khushibaby will apply AI to help ensure consistency in how healthcare information is captured and monitored.

Another team from Singapore Management University led by Pradeep Varakantham along with nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Trust will use AI to predict human-wildlife conflict in the state of Maharashtra to help inform data-driven policy making.

The team of Nanyang Technology University led by Bo An and nonprofit Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & The Environment will apply AI to inform dam and barrage water releases, to help build early warning systems that minimise risk of disasters.

Google
Google on Tuesday started six Artificial Intelligence (AI) based research projects in India that would focus on addressing social, humanitarian and environmental challenges in sectors like healthcare, education, disaster prevention and conversation. Pixabay

The last team from AI4Bharat and IIT Madras led by Mitesh Khapra and Pratyush Kumar along with nonprofit Storyweaver will build open-source input tools for underserved Indian languages to accelerate publishing of openly licensed content.

“We look forward to supporting academic researchers, organisations and the broader community over the coming months and years to bring these projects to life,” said Milind Tambe, Director, AI for Social Good, Google Research Team, India.

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Google Research India is based out of Bengaluru and will be part of and support Google’s global network of researchers. (IANS)