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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Dementia: The habit that makes us “lose” our mind

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Experts warn that if we want to have a healthy brain until old age, we must reduce the time we spend in front of the TV

We all saw a little more TV during the pandemic either through some famous platform or just through conventional TV. 

But this simple habit seems to be dangerous for middle-aged people, as experts warn that even a moderate follow-up time increases the chances of developing dementia.  

In fact, they emphasize the importance of those practices that promote brain health for adults aged 45-64 years.

“Our findings suggest that the amount of television viewing, a type of sedentary behaviour, may be related to cognitive decline and imaging markers of brain health,” said Priya Palta, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University.

The study examined approximately 1,600 adults with a median age of 76 years who underwent various clinical visits. On the first and third visits, all participants stated that they did not watch television often, and on their fifth visit, they underwent an MRI of the brain. 

Using these as starting points for the research, the researchers examined various structural markers of the brain, including the “gray matter” of each participant’s brain. 

Gray matter is the darkest tissue of the brain and spinal cord involved in muscle control and plays an important role in memory, attention, perception, thought, language and consciousness. The larger the volume, the better the individual’s cognitive skills.

Dr. Palta and her team found that people who frequently watched television had less “gray matter” more than a decade later in their lives, suggesting brain damage. 

In fact, participants’ physical activity and exercise routine did not change the correlations between projection time during middle age with brain structure and “gray matter” measurements. 

In addition, the correlation between watching time and “gray matter” was greater for those who regularly watched television.

As part of another study, researchers followed another 10,700 adults in the United States with a mean age of 59 years. The participants recorded their habits regarding television for some years by measuring the frequency and repeatability of television watching. 

The data were recorded at a depth of 15 years and the adults had to meet the researchers 4 times during this period, with the last session finding them to solve language, cognitive, functional, or memory tests as well as speed tests.

What the researchers found, in this case, is that compared to those who did not watch television often, almost daily viewers were up to 6.9 more likely to see their cognitive functions decline within 15 years, indicating worse cognitive performance test during the study.

Image Credit: Getty

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