Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Don't Blame Memory for Trouble Switching Tasks

Don't Blame Memory for Trouble Switching Tasks

04/26/11

TUESDAY, April 26 (HealthDay News) -- Slowing of the brain's processing speed as people age is the prime cause of typical communication problems in older adults, new research indicates.

In the study, University of Kansas researchers compared the ability of young and older adults to do two things at once: keep a cursor on a moving target on a computer screen while responding to questions. Overall, younger adults did better at this dual-tasking.

"We didn't find much evidence that working memory or long-term memory play a role in dual-tasking, but we think that processing speed does," psychology professor Susan Kemper, a senior scientist at the Gerontology Center at the university's Life Span Institute, said in a university news release.

"What I think is going on is that you have to rapidly switch your attention from tracking to talking, going back and forth pretty rapidly, and that's where the processing speed really comes in," Kemper said. "Older adults seem to be slower at switching between tasks so their functional ceiling is lower."

The study findings were published recently in both the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences and Psychology and Aging.

Language and communication problems, especially those that occur during dual-tasking, may be early indicators of the onset of Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, Kemper said.

"We know that there are brain markers even for people in their 40s who may be on the verge of developing dementia," Kemper said. "But those are revealed by very expensive tests that are not widely available. So perhaps language and communication might provide early warning signs that might be picked up and also serve as an access point for trying to develop interventions."

More information

The Society for Neuroscience outlines ways to keep your brain healthy as you age.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >