There are countless studies and copious amounts of research delving into how the internet can negatively impact your mind. But, new data indicates that there’s one way online time could actually benefit the brain. According to findings recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society from a team at NYU, it appears that regular internet usage may significantly reduce the risk of dementia in older populations.
As also highlighted by Gizmodo on Thursday, the study examined online habits of over 18,000 adults over the age of 50 for as long as 17 years (with a median of nearly 8 years) via data from the government’s biannual Health and Retirement Study. The dataset was subsequently broken down into two groups—those who were regular internet users, and those who were not. A second survey assessed their cognition at the study’s outset to use for reference over time. According to researchers, regular visitors to the internet “experienced approximately half the risk of dementia than non-regular users,” even when taking issues like pre-existing conditions into consideration. As Gizmodo also noted, those who reported using the internet in subsequent analysis displayed even lower risks of impairment.
Excerpted from Popular Science