Once again the Journal of Gerontology has published some interesting research on ageing.
The researchers studied 6,500 British people aged between 50 and 90 and examined their cognitive decline over 8 years. To check their mental ability, they used word recall tests and found that users of the internet in the group studied were 3% better at recalling words than non-users.
This is interesting, although pretty slim evidence, but the impact could be much greater as internet use increases amongst the elderly. Currently only 56% of people in the UK between 65 and 74 have internet access. That translates to a much smaller percentage among the older population as a whole.
Using the internet is a powerful way of exercising the brain and has the potential to dramatically enhance the connections older people can make way beyond word recall.
Since social isolation is also a significant factor in developing dementia, this study could have far wider implications for older people.