Digital Dementia and Health.
Prof. Hayk S. Arakelyan. Full Professor in Medicine,
Doctor of Medical Sciences, Ph.D , Grand Ph.D .
Senior Expert of Interactive Clinical Pharmacology , Drug Safety,
Treatment Tactics, General Medicine and Clinical Research.
“Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it
either a poison or a remedy.”
“Digital Dementia” is a term coined by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer to describe
an overuse of digital technology resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities.
... An under-practiced memory process is far from being comparable to the wider
cognitive devastation that is dementia.
Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause a long-term and
often gradual decrease in the ability to think and remember that is severe
enough to affect a person's daily functioning. Other common symptoms include
emotional problems, difficulties with language, and a decrease in motivation.
A person's consciousness is usually not affected. A dementia diagnosis requires a
change from a person's usual mental functioning and a greater decline than
one would expect due to aging. The most common type of dementia
is Alzheimer's disease, which makes up 50% to 70% of cases. Other common
types include vascular dementia (25%), dementia with Lewy
bodies (15%), frontotemporal dementia,
Signs and symptoms of Dementia.
The symptoms of dementia vary across types and stages of the diagnosis. The most
common affected areas include memory, visual-
spatial, language, attention and problem solving. Most types of dementia are
slow and progressive. By the time the person shows signs of the disorder, the
process in the brain has been happening for a long time. It is possible for a patient
to have two types of dementia at the same time. About 10% of people with
dementia have what is known as mixed dementia, which is usually a
combination of Alzheimer's disease and another type of dementia such
as frontotemporal dementia or vascular dementia.
Digital Dementia .
“Digital Dementia” is a term coined by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer to
describe an overuse of digital technology resulting in the breakdown of
cognitive abilities. Spitzer proposes that short-term memory pathways will
start to deteriorate from underuse if we overuse technology. Although, in this
blog, we have recently explored outsourcing your memory to smartphones,
these two concepts are different—the mental disarray within the brain
implied by the term ‘dementia’ is far more basic and complete. An under-
practiced memory process is far from being comparable to the wider cognitive
devastation that is dementia. Perhaps a potentially more informative line of enquiry
would be to explore the wider ways in which the screen lifestyle could induce
states analogous to dementia. For example, new research has found a potential
link between action video gaming and the potential increased risk for
developing psychological disorders, including dementia. Researchers set out to
investigate how action video gamers and non-video gamers navigated a virtual
maze, using one of two potential strategies. The spatial strategy involves
remembering the location of various landmarks within the environment and
mentally building a map of these locations and their position relative to each
other. Establishing relationships between landmarks allows for flexibility when
navigating the world, as you are able to orientate yourself within your mental map.
This particular strategy relies on a familiar area of the brain long associated
with spatial memory: the hippocampus. The response strategy, by contrast,
entails learning the series of movements that follow from a set position, such
as a certain pattern of left and right turns after seeing a particular landmark.
Whereas the spatial strategy enables you to determine a direct path to any
location, the response strategy is rigid in this regard as it relies on a series of
movements triggered specifically by certain locations, and presses into service a
different area of the brain, the striatum. The researchers found that video
gamers were more likely to navigate the virtual maze using the response
strategy. Perhaps the exaggerated involvement of the striatum shouldn’t come
as a surprise. We know that action video gaming is linked with greater brain
volume in the striatum, but this may be at the expense of a reduction in
hippocampal volume. Although this proposal requires further investigation,
previous research has shown that reduced grey matter in the hippocampus is
associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress
disorder, depression and dementia, amongst other disorders.
If you have any questions concerning “Digital Dementia and Health. ”,
interactive clinical pharmacology , or any other questions, please inform me .
Prof. Hayk S. Arakelyan