Technology damages brain
- Published: 7/02/2013 at 08:13 PM
- Online news:
Electronic devices which easily substitute for thinking will result in higher numbers of people with Alzheimer's disease, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Deputy Public Health Minister Chonlanan Srikaew said on Thursday that the use of gadgets like calculators, mobile phones and even karaoke machines opens up the possibility for users to lose their memory and eventually develop Alzheimer's disease.
"Using technologies instead of the brain at a young age could speed up the process of memory loss. Therefore, children should practice the alphabet or memorise song lyrics more often," the deputy minister said.
The elderly could help to prevent memory loss from developing too soon by calculating maths or figures to keep their brain cells functioning, he added.
A programme to check for Alzheimer's is shown to the press and will be made available for users to download for free on Feb 15. (Photo courtesy of the Public Health Ministry)
The ministry is concerned about a possible a rise in dementia and Alzheimer's patients. Thailand has seven million people over 60, about 1 million of them with dementia or Alzheimer's.
People over that age have a greater chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer's than other age groups.
The number of patients could jump to 1.3 million in 2020, according to the US National Institute of Health. Its research shows that Alzheimer's is more common in female than males and reveals that 60% of patients developed the disease after they were diagnosed with arterial problems.
Dr Chonlanan said he aimed to reduce the amount of 60-70-year-old Alzheimer's patients by 10% within 3-5 years. The Institute of Geriatric Medicine will be in charge and about 1 million health volunteers will help identify potential Alzheimer's patients for immediate treatment, he said.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of Thailand and the Thailand Centre of Excellence for Life Science have developed an application to test whether people show signs of Alzheimer's. The app can be downloaded to smart phones and other devices such as iPads and those using the Android operating system, foundation secretary Dr Nanthika Thawichachart said.
The programme will be launched on Feb 15 which is set as the day to raise awareness of Alzheimer's. It can be downloaded at the foundation website, www.alz.or.th, or the centre website at www.tcels.or.th.
Related search: alzheimers disease brain technology mobile phones calculators
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