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Researchers Say Cognitive Training Improves Seniors Ability To Do Daily Tasks

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Researchers Say Cognitive Training Improves Seniors Ability To Do Daily Tasks

Playing online games that exercise reasoning and memory skills could have major benefits for older people, a wide-scale study has found.

Researchers at King’s College London discovered that mental exercises, or “brain training”, can improve people’s everyday lives, helping with tasks such as using public transport, shopping, cooking and managing personal finances.

Almost 7,000 people over the age of 50 were recruited from the public through the BBC, Alzheimer’s Society and the Medical Research Council to take part in the six-month experiment.

Some participants were encouraged to play a 10-minute brain-training package as often as they wished.

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The package comprised three reasoning tasks Photo: BBC

The package comprised three reasoning tasks, such as balancing weights on a see-saw, and three problem-solving tasks, such as putting numbered tiles in numerical order.

Volunteers completed cognitive tests, including assessments of grammatical reasoning and memory, before the study began and again after six weeks, three months and six months.

Those over 60 also carried out tests of daily living skills, such as using the telephone or doing shopping.

After six months, the over-60s who took part in the brain training were found to have significant improvements in carrying out daily tasks, while those over the age of 50 recorded better reasoning and verbal learning.

The improvements were most effective when people played brain-training games at least five times a week.

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Some participants were encouraged to play a 10-minute brain-training package as often as they wished Photo: BBC

 

An earlier study by the same researchers suggested that such exercises offered no benefits for those younger than 50.

Last month, scientists in California and Berlin spoke out against the brain-training industry, saying there is “little evidence that playing brain games improves underlying broad cognitive abilities, or that it enables one to better navigate a complex realm of everyday life”.

But other research has shown some promise for brain training in improving memory, though these small-scale studies have been inconclusive.

Scientists have also shown that people who have complex occupations or stimulate their brains with activities such as crosswords, puzzles and learning new skills throughout life tend to have lower rates of dementia.

The research team believe the new study could be important for preserving mental functions in older people and help reduce the risk of decline of cognitive functions in later life.

Dr Anne Corbett, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, said: “The impact of a brain training package such as this one could be extremely significant for older adults who are looking for a way to proactively maintain their cognitive health as they age.

“The online package could be accessible to large numbers of people, which could also have considerable benefits for public health across the UK.

“Our research adds to growing evidence that lifestyle interventions may provide a more realistic opportunity to maintain cognitive function, and potentially reduce the risk of cognitive decline later in life, particularly in the absence of any drug treatments to prevent dementia.”

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The research team believe the new study could be important for preserving mental functions in older people Photo: Alamy

 

Dr Doug Brown, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Online brain training is rapidly growing into a multimillion-pound industry and studies like this are vital to help us understand what these games can and cannot do.

“While this study wasn’t long enough to test whether the brain-training package can prevent cognitive decline or dementia, we’re excited to see that it can have a positive impact on how well older people perform essential everyday tasks.”

AT A GLANCE

Alzheimer’s disease

  • Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting for around 62 per cent of all diagnosed cases
  • An estimated 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, with the number set to rise to more than a million by 2025
  • Dementia is a loose term used to describe different degenerative disorders that trigger a gradual loss of brain function – thinking, remembering and reasoning
  • In most people, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s. The disease is progressive and currently incurable, though there are treatments to reduce the symptoms
  • In the end it robs the sufferer of the ability to carry out the simplest tasks
  • The causes are still not completely understood. Scientists believe genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors all play a role

Further studies of the impact of long-term brain training are now beginning.

The research was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

 

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

Health

Woman, 24, With Cervical Cancer Given Months to Live After Docs Refused Smear Test Because She was ‘Too Young’

A WOMAN was told that she was “too young” for a smear test – only to be given months to live when docs finally discovered she had cervical cancer.

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Woman, 24, With Cervical Cancer Given Months to Live After Docs Refused Smear Test Because She was ‘Too Young’

A WOMAN was told that she was “too young” for a smear test – only to be given months to live when docs finally discovered she had cervical cancer.

Katie Bourne started to suffer from belly pains, doctors assumed she had Crohn’s disease.

Then aged 24, docs refused to give her a smear test as she was too young.

Katie was finally diagnosed with stage-three cervical cancer back in February, when she was warned that unless she started treatment immediately, she’d only have 18 months left to live.

Katie told Teesside Live that all of her symptoms had pointed towards cervical cancer but that her referrals for smears were turned down because of her age.

She said she started to experience stomach pains in July last year and went her GP in November.

“They took some swabs and said I was booked in for a smear,” she told the site.

“But when I went back they said they weren’t going to do the smear and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.

“The pain never went with the medication they gave me for that.”

In fact, after her cancer was picked up, it turned out that there was nothing wrong with her bowel at all.

In February, Katie collapsed in pain at her job at Next and spent the next three nights in hospital – where she was denied a smear again.

Symptoms of cervical cancer

The devastating thing about cervical cancer is that there are no obvious symptoms during the early stages.

But vaginal bleeding can often be a tell-tale sign – especially if it occurs after sex, in between periods or after the menopause.

Women are offered smear tests from the age of 25 which look for any abnormalities in the cervix, but if you are under the age bracket, and you notice any of the following symptoms, you’ve got to push for testing.

Other warning signs include:

  • pain and discomfort during sex
  • unusual or unpleasant vaginal discharge
  • pain in your lower back or pelvis

And if it spreads to other organs, the signs can include:

  • pain in your lower back or pelvis
  • severe pain in your side or back caused by your kidneys
  • constipation
  • peeing or pooing more than usual
  • losing control of your bladder or bowels
  • blood in your pee
  • swelling in one or both legs
  • severe vaginal bleeding

“Because of my age I was still declined a smear and when the pains went they sent me home,” she said.

“My GP had sent two gynae referrals in the December and January but both were declined. All my symptoms have always been the same.

“And when I Googled them they always brought up cervical cancer.”

A third referral was accepted and a smear and scan confirmed Katie’s worst fears.

She was told that she had stage three cancer which had spread to both sides of her pelvis.

Katie began chemo last month, but docs don’t know how well she’ll respond to it yet.

Without treatment, her prognosis is just 18 months.

Now 25, she’s already set about making a bucket list.

Top of her list is marrying her partner of four years, Leighanne Prior.

The couple had planned to get hitched in Las Vegas in the next few years but following Katie’s diagnoses, they’ve decided to get wed next month at Middlesbrough Registry Office.

And in January, they’ll be honeymooning in the Maldives.

Another thing in the bucket list is to “finish all the Real Housewives series!”

Cheers For Smears

Fabulous has partnered with cervical cancer charity Jo’s Trust to launch #CheersForSmears, a campaign aiming to ensure women across the UK attend their screenings, no matter what.

With around 3,200 women in the UK now being diagnosed with the disease every year – a number that is set to rise by around 40% within 20 years – and one in three dying from it, it’s clear we’re facing a cervical cancer time bomb.

Many say they can’t get convenient appointments to fit around their jobs.

In many surgeries, smear tests are only available at certain times or days, making it difficult for some women to book an appointment.

That’s why #CheersForSmears is calling on GPs to offer more flexible screening times and make testing available outside of office hours and at weekends.

We also want employers to play their part in helping to ensure that their female employees can attend potentially life-saving cervical screenings if they are unable to get an appointment outside of working hours.

Help get your employer involved by emailing info@jostrust.org.uk.

Remember:

  • 5,000 women’s lives are saved a year in the UK by cervical screening
  • 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year
  • 99.8% of cervical cancer cases are preventable
  • 870 women die every year in the UK from cervical cancer
  • 1 in 142 UK females will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime
  • 25-29 years peak rate of cervical cancer cases

Leighanne, 30, has taken time off work to help take care of Katie.

She told Teesside Live that because the pair have a young nephew and another one on the way, Katie is worried about whether they’ll remember her.

“But most of the time, she’s so positive, she’s been amazing.”

All women and people with a cervix are invited for smear tests every three years from the age of 25 to 64.

A smear test isn’t a test for cervical cancer, but detects changes in the cells of the cervix which can be a precursor to the disease.

Finding abnormal changes early means they can be monitored or treated, so they don’t become cervical cancer.

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Health

6 Scientific Tricks to Help you Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? Don’t lie in bed and stress about it. These science-proven tricks will help you get to sleep faster…

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6 Scientific Tricks to Help you Sleep - Sostre News

Do you have trouble sleeping? Don’t lie in bed and stress about it. These science-proven tricks will help you get to sleep faster.

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Health

“The Depravity of The Human Condition”

Driven with out love and purpose we lack the necessities to sustain human life. Through eyes of apathy homelessness is normalized as a chosen way of life…

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"The Depravity of The Human Condition"

 “The Human Condition”

 

Despondency, starvation and lack cover the face of the earth

Driven with out love and purpose we lack the necessities to sustain human life.

Through eyes of apathy homelessness is normalized as a chosen way of life.

Depravity corrupts moral character diminishing compassion, and mercy.

loss of love is loss of life, people crave acceptance, support, love. interpersonal

relationships are opportunities for growth, maturity, insight and wisdom .

life experiences shape and mold character, without the proper elements to support

human life, we are susceptible to diseases both physically and spiritually.

atrocities darken the mind, and its eternal perception to see the good things

in life. destroying hope and potential, enslaving the mind to incorrect ways of

thinking. influencing the degeneration of moral conduct. impacting relationships,

creating heart ache and pain. destroying the fabric of relationships critical to our

emotional well being, drastically affecting emotional health. broken relationships

cripple our capacity to love. a closed unresponsive heart destroys inner life. making

you a slave to your own pain, causing great distress and spiritual blindness. that binds

the spirit that hinders it from expressing itself freely. erosion of love is malignant cancer

to the human soul. our heart is the core of who we are, our heart controls are thoughts

and actions. the heart most be protected and guarded in order to preserve the inner life

within us  the very essence of our spirit. we must be  careful of what we allow to enter

our hearts, music. television, the types of books we read  will mold us over time . like  water

over rocks the heart is a well spring of life’s issues, acting as a compass leading us along the

path of our destiny. the home of the higher self  created in the image of God

 

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