You Are Outsourcing Your Brain & That Might Be Bad

Middle-age spread associated with Alzheimer’s, and why Google may be bad for your brain.

The News About Fat Just Keeps Getting Worse

The Journal of Alzheimer’s and Dementia reported the results of a study on fat as an Alzheimer’s factor. This very large study-1.3 million subjects- reviewed data comparing Body Mass Index (BMI) to incurrence of dementia. BMI measures the relationship between height and weight. The finding was stark and severe: being over-weight at middle age increases the risk of dementia later in life. The study was performed by a highly-respected research team, led by Psychology Professor Mika Kivimaki at University College London and Ritva Luukkonen from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Helsinki and included experts from throughout Europe. Study details here. Consumer safety tip: it contains math you didn’t see in high school.

Is Google Shrinking Your Brain?

Frank Gunn-Moore is a professor at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, and Director of Alzheimer’s Research. In public comments in advance of his upcoming address at an Alzheimer’s event, reported in the Dundee Scotland Sunday Post, Moore said: “…these days we seem to outsource our brain to the Internet. It’s an experiment the human race is running and we will have to wait and see if this outsourcing affects dementia prevalence”.

In other words, Dr. Gunn-Moore is encouraging us to use our recall, grab a dictionary or other reference book and so on to build and reinforce memories rather than reach of the smartphone.

We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore

The list of things under our control that raise our risk of dementia is solidifying: being sedentary, overweight, consuming too much sugar and drinking too much alcohol are all associated with a higher risk. This recent study shows that the part of the risk stemming from being fat begins at an earlier age, specifically middle age.

Here’s our prescription and shameless plugs: get your children off the screen and moving to develop good exercise habits at an early age, and buy some of our cool, non-digital toys that require thinking and, in some cases, movement. For adults, fight that expanding waist line with our light-weight, luggage friendly exercise straps and bands kit.

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