ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
New Insights Show Ginseng Fights Inflammation
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
ER Less Likely to Diagnose Stroke in Younger Folks
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
DIET, NUTRITION
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Just Say No to Nuts During Pregnancy
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
FITNESS
Maximize Your Run
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
You Can Get Great Exercise In The Garden
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
As You Age, Better Health Means Better Sex
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Add your Article

Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web

(HealthDay News) -- Surfing the Internet just might be a way to preserve your mental skills as you age.

Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.

"You can teach an old brain new technology tricks," said Dr. Gary Small, a psychiatry professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of iBrain. With people who had little Internet experience, "we found that after just a week of practice, there was a much greater extent of activity particularly in the areas of the brain that make decisions, the thinking brain -- which makes sense because, when you're searching online, you're making a lot of decisions," he said. "It's interactive."

Small is co-author of the research, which was scheduled to be presented Monday in Chicago at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.

"This makes intuitive sense, that getting on the Internet and exploring and getting new information and learning would help," said Paul Sanberg, director of the University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair in Tampa. "It supports the value of exploring the Internet for the elderly."

Most experts now advocate a "use-it-or-lose-it" approach to mental functioning.

"We found a number of years ago that people who engaged in cognitive activities had better functioning and perspective than those who did not," said Dr. Richard Lipton, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City and director of the Einstein Aging Study. "Our study is often referenced as the crossword-puzzle study -- that doing puzzles, writing for pleasure, playing chess and engaging in a broader array of cognitive activities seem to protect against age-related decline in cognitive function and also dementia."

The new study takes the use-it-or-lose-it concept into the 21st century.

For the research, 24 neurologically normal adults, aged 55 to 78, were asked to surf the Internet while hooked up to an MRI machine. Before the study began, half the participants had used the Internet daily, and the other half had little experience with it.

After an initial MRI scan, the participants were instructed to do Internet searches for an hour on each of seven days in the next two weeks. They then returned to the clinic for more brain scans.

"At baseline, those with prior Internet experience showed a much greater extent of brain activation," Small said.

After at-home practice, however, those who had just been introduced to the Internet were catching up to those who were old hands, the study found.

"This is a demonstration that, over a relatively short period of time, patterns of brain activation while engaging in cognitive activities change," Lipton said. "That is at least a first step toward gaining insight into the mechanisms that might allow cognitive engagement to influence brain function."

But, Small said, beware how you use the Internet.

"You can exercise your mind by using the Internet, but it depends on how it's used," he explained. "If you get hooked on gambling or eBay shopping, that may not be positive."

SOURCES: Gary Small, M.D., professor, psychiatry, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles; Richard Lipton, M.D., professor, neurology and epidemiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D., D.Sc., professor, neurosurgery, and director, University of South Florida Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Tampa, Fla.; Oct. 19, 2009, presentation, Society for Neuroscience 2009 meeting, Chicago