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Digital literacy reduces cognitive decline in older adults, experts find

Date:
August 12, 2014
Source:
Oxford University Press USA
Summary:
Researchers have found a link between digital literacy and a reduction in cognitive decline, according to a study. The data measures delayed recall from a 10-word-list learning task across 5 separate measurement points. Higher wealth, education and digital literacy improved delayed recall, while people with functional impairment, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depressive symptoms or no digital literacy showed decline.

Researchers have found a link between digital literacy and a reduction in cognitive decline, according to a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences on July 8th.

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Led by Andre Junqueira Xavier at the Universidade do Sul de Santa Catarina, this is the first major study to show that digital literacy, or the ability to engage, plan and execute digital actions such as web browsing and exchanging emails, can improve memory. Drawn from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, the study followed 6442 participants in the UK between the ages of 50 and 89 for 8 years.

The data measures delayed recall from a 10-word-list learning task across 5 separate measurement points. Higher wealth, education and digital literacy improved delayed recall, while people with functional impairment, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depressive symptoms or no digital literacy showed decline. The researchers' findings suggest that "digital literacy increases brain and cognitive reserve or leads to the employment of more efficient cognitive networks to delay cognitive decline."

The authors write, "countries where policy interventions regarding improvement in DL are implemented may expect lower incidence rates for dementia over the coming decades."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oxford University Press USA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. André J. Xavier et al. English Longitudinal Study of Aging: Can Internet/E-mail Use Reduce Cognitive Decline? The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences, August 2014 DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glu105

Cite This Page:

Oxford University Press USA. "Digital literacy reduces cognitive decline in older adults, experts find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163709.htm>.
Oxford University Press USA. (2014, August 12). Digital literacy reduces cognitive decline in older adults, experts find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163709.htm
Oxford University Press USA. "Digital literacy reduces cognitive decline in older adults, experts find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163709.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

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