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Vol.01

Gain a n Edge Discover how to m in im i ze t he r isk s of dement ia a nd memor y loss


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_ Da rt Photo cour te sy of Wili Hybrid from Flick r


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The Game i s on

Ga mbl i n g a s a s o c i a l i ss ue h a s b e e n c e nt e r e d on t he d e b at e b e t w e e n add ic t ion a nd e c onom ic grow t h. Most people have a negat ive stereot y pe of gaming or gambling but ignore potent ial b e ne f it s. Howe ve r, ba n n i ng t h is i ndu s t r y w i l l on ly c au s e mor e pr oble m s , ju s t l i ke P r oh ibit ion d i d d u r i n g t h e t w e n t i e s . O n t h e c o n t r a r y, c au t ion a nd e du c at ion c a n u t i l i z e t he b e ne f it s of g a m i n g a nd g a m bl i n g w h i le m i n i m i z i n g p o t e n t i a l f or h a r m . T he f i r s t s t e p t o he a lt hy g a m i n g i s b e c om i n g educated. Understanding the potential of losing and w inn ing w ill teach players to ma ke responsible decisions a nd e x per ience t he f un of compe t it ion. T h i s k nowle d ge c a n a l s o r e duc e t he o dd s of add ic t ion a nd b e ne f it so c ie t y a s a whole.


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_ B r a in Ne rv e s


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Survey says

“ M o r e so ci a l ly a n d cognitively active elders are, in general, he althier.� Rani Desai A ssociate P rofessor, School of Ps ychiat r y at Ya le School of Med icine


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S u r v e y S ays

Nu mb e r s of s t ud ie s h ave re ve a le d t hat b e i ng mentally, physically and socially active helps seniors prevent dementia and memor y loss. A recent Yale st udy, published in t he 20 04 Ame r ican Jour nal of P s ychiat r y, found an interest ing cor relat ion be t ween recreat iona l ga mbling a nd good hea lt h among the elderly. The researchers investigated a nationally representative sample of 2,117 adults v ia t e le phone i nt e r v ie w s. In add it ion, t he y compared the health status of recreational gamblers who had gambled recently with persons who had not ga mbled lat ely. T hose who ga mbled recent ly repor ted to be in bet ter healt h because t hey were healt hier to begin w it h. In cont rast, t hose who had not gambled were probably too sick to par ticipate gaming activities. Accord ing to joint resea rch by t he Universit y of Penns ylva n ia a nd Penn St ate Universit y, being t aught or e x posed to some t hing new can ac t ivate s e n ior s’ br a i n c e l l s a nd ne r ve s . It i s v it a l t o boost par ts of brain for t he elderly because it can st ave of f dement ia d isease.


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_Th e E lde rly


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Aging Disease

According to a 2011 national data report, estimated 5. 2 m i l l ion A me r ic a ns a ge d 65 or olde r have dementia. This disease affects about 1% of people aged form 60 to 64 years and as many as 30—50% of people older than 85 years. Dementia is the loss of mental f unctions, such as lea r n i ng, t h i n k i ng, memor y, a nd reason ing. It develops when t he par ts of t he brain are af fec ted by v a r ious i n fec t ions or d iseases. T here a re a s m a ny a s f i f t y k now n c au s e s of de me nt i a l i ke advancing age, family histor y, mild cog nit ive i mp a i r m e n t , c a r d i o v a s c u l a r d i s e a s e a n d b r a i n injur y. A l zheimer’s disease is t he most common one among t hem.


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Even t hough cur rent–used t reat ment of dement ia c a n't s t op t he pr og r e ssive me nt a l de c l i ne , me d ic at ion a nd pr op e r e xe r c i s e s c a n p os t p one and a llev iate t he sy mptoms. Researchers found t hat people who e xercised more and followed t he Mediterranean diet more closely had a 35%—44% lower risk compared w ith those who didn’t follow t hese reg imens. Kenneth S. Kosik, co–director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the Universit y of California i n Sa nt a Ba r ba r a , r e c om me nd s t h at i nd iv idu a l s shou ld st a r t ef for t s to pre vent t he disease in t heir 50s. “Social activit y challenges older adults to p ar t ic ip at e in c omple x int e r p e rsonal e x chan ge s , which c o uld p rom o t e or m aint ain e f f ic ie nt n e ural n e t w o rk s in a c a s e o f u s e it o r l o s e it ,” s a i d Br y a n Ja me s , Ph D, p os t do c t or a l me mb e r i n t he d i s t r ibu t ion of a g i n g a nd de me nt i a i n t he Rush A l z hei mer ’s Disease Cent er.


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_ I sol atio n A s e n i o r s i t o n t h e g r o u n d o f t h e Yo u t h P a r k i n Ta i p e i .


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Ways to Delay Memory Loss

“Challenging the brain early in life is crucial to building up more cognitive reserve to counter brain–damaging disease.”

Dr. Dav id A . Bennet t P rofessor of Neu rolog ica l Sciences a nd Direc tor of t he Rush A l z heimer's Disease Center


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Ways to d e l ay m e m o ry lo ss


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B ot h ga me s of sk i l l a nd ga mes of c ha nc e have t herapeut ic qua lit ies for t he elderly. Recreat ional gaming just like many enjoyable leisure activities c a n p r o v i d e c o g n i t i v e s t i m u l a t i o n , probabi l it y computat ion and social recreat ion. Players have t o t r e at t he b e t a s a c o s t of e nt e r t a i n me nt a nd t he w inn ing as bonus. T h is is why cha lleng ing ac t iv it ie s l i ke pu z z le s , p oke r, bi n go or s c r abble a r e s u g ge s t e d b y A l z he i me r ’s A ss o c i at ion. 01 Physica l Act iv it y

Suggested by a resea rch f rom t he Un iversit y of Illinois, reg u la r aerobic act iv it y such as r unning, walk ing, or bic ycling which r e q u i r e s ox y ge n t o pr o du c e e ne r g y m ay do a b e t t e r job of prot e c t i ng brain f unction than nonaerobic ac t iv it y like golf, tenn is, a nd lif t ing weights which uses shor t bursts of mot ion.

A c c o r d i n g t o t h e 2 011 a r t i c l e published in Science News, the aerobic e xercise g roup demonst rated a n increase in volu me of t he lef t a n d r i g h t h i p p o c a m p u s o f 2 .1 2 percent and 1.97 percent, respectively. T h e s a m e r e g ion s o f t h e br a i n i n t ho s e w ho d id s t r e t c h i n g e xe r c i s e s d e c r e a s e d i n v o l u m e b y 1.4 0 a n d 1.43 p e r c e n t , r e s p e c t i v e l y.


Ways to d e l ay m e m o ry lo ss

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0 2 M e n t a l C h a l l e n g e s

52%

42%

Play ing pu z z les, Sudok u or ot her cha lleng ing g a m e s c a n a c t i v a t e br a i n n e r v e s . T h e br a i n’s a bi l it y t o r e or g a n i z e ne u r a l p at hw a y s w it h ne w infor mat ion or e x per iences means it ’s reg ularly c h a n g i n g ; we c a n e ve n ge ne r at e ne w br a i n c e l ls. But you ne e d t o work it . T he ge ne r a l g u ide l i ne, says Neil Buck holt z, chief of t he dement ia of ag ing branch at t he Nat iona l Inst it ute on A g i n g , i s r e g u l a r l y e n g a g i n g i n “s o m e k i n d o f n e w l e a r n i n g t h a t c h a l l e n g e s y o u .”

A 20 09 st udy repor ted in Ne urolog y indicates t h a t m e n t a l s t i mu l a t i o n s l o w s t h e r a t e o f cog nit ive decline but may accelerate dement ia lat e r du r i ng old a ge. T h is r es e a rc h w a s le ad by R o b e r t S . W i l s o n , a n e u r o ph y s i ol o g i s t a t R u s h Un i v e r s i t y M e d i c a l C e n t e r i n C h i c a g o. F r o m t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n du r i n g t h e i n i t i a l si x years, invest igators noted t hat t he rate of c og n it ive de c l i ne w it hout me nt a l i mpa i r me nt w e nt dow n 52% for e ac h p oi nt on t he c og n it ive a c t i v i t y s c a l e . F o r i n d i v i du a l s d i a g n o s e d w i t h A l z h e i m e r ’s d i s e a s e , t h e a v e r a g e a n nu a l r a t e o f d e c l i n e r o s e b y 4 2% f o r e a c h p o i n t o n t he cog nit ive act iv it y scale.

It is like pu lling a r ubber ba nd; not h ing happens u nt i l we le t go. Eve n t hou g h t he i nves t igat ion carries a maze to the association between dementia prevent ion and ment a l ac t ivat ion, t he good t h i ng is t hat ment a l ly c ha l leng ing ac t iv it ies ca n c omp r e s s t h e t i m e o f m e n t a l d e c l i n e i n t h o s e w i t h o u t c o g n i t i v e i mp a i r m e n t .


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0 3 S o c i a l C o n n e c t i o n

Resea rch has found t hat people w it h la rger social net works, while they had similar amounts of t h e pl a q u e s a n d t a n g l e s o f A l z h e i m e r ’s a s d i d more isolated people, were less affected cognitively. A not her st udy suggests t hat ps ycholog ica l d i s t r e s s o v e r t h e l on g t e r m s i g n i f i c a n t l y r a i s e s a p e r s o n’s r i s k o f d e v e l o p i n g A l z h e i m e r ’s .

A n a r t icles published in t he Ame r ican Jour nal of P ublic Health in 20 08 suggest t hat social connections can reduce the chances of developing dement ia. Invest igators f rom t he Har vard School of Public Health used information gathered f r o m m o r e t h a n 16 , 0 0 0 H R S s u b j e c t s b e t w e e n 19 9 8 a n d 2 0 0 4 . T h e r e s u l t s s h o w e d t hat people w it h t he h ighest le vels of socia l i n t e g r a t i o n , m o s t l y i n t e r a c t e d w i t h f a m i l y, f r iends, a nd ot her people, were more likely to re t a in cog nit ive f unc t ioning.


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M a k e a B e t t e r Day

G e ne r a l ly s p e a k i ng, t he r e a r e a nu mb e r of w ay s for t he e lde rly t o m a i nt a i n he a lt h a nd r e duc e t he fe e l i n g of lone l i ne ss . It c a n b e a s si mple a s f i g u r i n g o u t t h e d a i l y c r o s s w or d p u z z l e or pa r t icipat ing in com mu n it y ac t iv it ies. W h ile t h i s p r oj e c t i s f o c u s e d on g a m e s , t h e d r i v i n g f or c e i s no t ju s t t he g a me s t he m s e lv e s , bu t t he sense of a nt icipat ion, compe t it ion, e xcit ement , a nd i nt e r ac t ion t h at g a m i n g br i n g s .

M a k e a B e t te r Day

Puz zle

Crossword

Puzzle


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Reading

Vitamin E

Exercise


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G AME S M ARTGA M E.ORG


GAME--GAIN AN EDGE