Study finds regular internet use linked to lower risk of dementia

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A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has revealed that regular internet use could be linked to a lower risk of dementia.

The study, led by Virginia W. Chang, MD, Ph.D., of New York University, monitored 18,154 adults between the ages of 50 and 64.9 years who were dementia-free at the beginning of the study.

Participants were followed for a median period of 7.9 years, with a maximum follow-up of 17.1 years.

Key Findings

During the follow-up period, 4.68% of the participants were diagnosed with dementia.

The research found that those who used the internet regularly had about half the risk of developing dementia compared to those who did not use the internet regularly.

This association was found to be consistent across variables such as educational attainment, race-ethnicity, sex, and generation.

Possible Explanations

“Online engagement may help to develop and maintain cognitive reserve, which can in turn compensate for brain aging and reduce the risk of dementia,” said Dr. Virginia W. Chang.

Cognitive reserve refers to the brain’s ability to improvise and find alternate ways of performing tasks, which is crucial for resisting the effects of brain aging and degenerative diseases like dementia.


The findings of this study could be significant for public health interventions aimed at dementia prevention.

Encouraging older adults to engage more with the internet could be a simple yet effective way to boost cognitive reserve and, thereby, decrease the risk of developing dementia.

It also opens up new avenues for research into the impact of modern technology on cognitive health.


While the study shows a promising link between regular internet usage and a reduced risk of dementia, it is important to note that correlation does not imply causation.

Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms that contribute to this association.

Nonetheless, the study adds a valuable perspective to our understanding of lifestyle factors that could influence the risk of dementia.

If you care about dementia, please read studies that walking patterns may help identify specific types of dementia, and common high blood pressure drugs may help lower your dementia risk.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about this tooth disease linked to dementia, and results showing this MIND diet may protect your cognitive function, prevent dementia.

The research findings can be found in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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