Is it true that “the brain gets younger with a smartphone”? A Surprising Reason Why Neurologists Recommend that Seniors Should Use Smartphones | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Is it true that “the brain gets younger with a smartphone”? A Surprising Reason Why Neurologists Recommend that Seniors Should Use Smartphones

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I can’t help but feel like my brain is getting a break when I use my phone. …… Does it really make me feel younger?

It’s OK to rely on your phone for “what you don’t know.”

‘I have some seniors who are healthy and some patients who, unfortunately, are getting old. I believe the difference in their fate is whether or not they are digitally proficient.

Dr. Katsuyuki Uchino, a neurologist and author of “Brain Rejuvenates with Smartphones” (Tatsumi Publishing Co., Ltd.), says, “I believe that the difference between the two is whether or not they are using digital technology to their advantage.

Can Smartphones Rejuvenate the Brains of Senior Citizens? Isn’t it a mistake that they are getting worse and worse? If you think so, you are the one who should seriously consider digital technology as a pathway to a healthy life span. Dr. Uchino explains specific smartphone utilization techniques.

Is it safe to look up things I don’t understand on a search right away? Yes, it is. For young people, immediately looking up anything by searching is a bad thing that inhibits the creation of neural pathways in the brain. If they continue to do this, they will grow up not knowing the analog pathways to look things up, and their brains will not even think of looking things up.

But seniors are already ingrained with the pathway of getting information from literature, newspapers, and magazines. So looking it up on a smartphone is a new circuit. Seniors have the knowledge and experience, so they can have fun there already. Even though they tend to forget more things as they get older, their brains are more active by using their smartphones to help them retrieve their memories. Seniors have less concentration, thinking, and stamina. Instead of forgetting things before you can look them up, you can just search for them right away.”

Smartphones are difficult. That preconceived notion keeps seniors away from digital. But that is also a big misconception.

Like appliances of the past, smartphones don’t come with manuals. Because they are designed to be intuitive to use. That’s why one out of every two people on the planet uses a smartphone. And they don’t break easily, and even if you make a mistake, you can try as many times as you want, so anyone can use them.

Working as a doctor, I clearly see a difference in cognitive function between people who use smartphones and those who use rattlecell phones or easy phones. The easy phone is too easy and lacks the stimulation that activates the brain. We recommend that you start using the same iPhone or other devices as young people. It is effective to learn and be able to use it without difficulty. You can also use a tablet, but we recommend a smartphone because it is easier. Smartphones are better because you can use them wherever you want, whenever you want.

Find videos you like rather than passively watching TV

Of course, using a smartphone is not just about searching. Video streaming services are also effective.

“With TV, I just passively watch content provided by the station. YouTube is free, and there are many all-you-can-watch services where you only pay a small monthly subscription fee. We actively choose what we want to watch from among them. Seniors tend to have fewer opportunities to express their emotions. Watching a comedy video or an emotional video and crying can help them to express their emotions, regulate their autonomic nervous system, and help with insomnia.

Emotions lead to the production of happy hormones. There are circuits inside the brain that secrete reward systems such as serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Seniors are actually less likely to produce them. The hormones testosterone for men and estrogen for women tend to decrease by 20-30% after the age of 40-50, and dopamine becomes much harder to produce after the age of 70. If you don’t produce it, you will become less and less emotional, and the happy hormone will also stop being produced. The reward system is triggered by feelings of joy and happiness, for example, when a person is hugged.

But we don’t have that kind of opportunity very often, do we? But if you have a smartphone, you can solve this problem. Just watching a nostalgic image, such as a movie you saw with someone you dated in the past, is also a reward. It evokes old synapses, which leads to rejuvenation.”

It is said that the brain atrophies in seniors, but with a smartphone, this can be easily slowed down. However, with a smartphone, this can be easily slowed down.

The brain is in a rusty, inactive state when synapses are not moving. Generally, the number of synapses decreases after the age of 20, but if we consciously activate them, the decrease becomes slower. By preventing the loss of communication within the brain, the brain can remain active and healthy even if it has atrophied due to aging. And the only thing that can keep it active is fresh experiences.

In other words, whether or not the brain is active is more important than the size of the brain, and the smartphone is the best way for seniors to reactivate their neuronal networks. Conversely, repeating the usual routine in the same community leads to aging, he says. Even if you do your usual shopping at the supermarket every day, be careful.

With the Internet, you can find anything you want at a low price,” he says. This process provides new stimulation to the brain. If you can buy what you want at a low price, you will be happy, and if you make a mistake by unintentionally buying in bulk, that will also be a stimulating experience.

For seniors, who tend to lack communication, it is also important to interact with new people. Mr. Uchino recommends face-to-face online conversations using applications such as LINE or FaceTime, rather than social networking services.

I don’t deny social networking, but when it’s just text, it’s hard to understand emotions, and seniors who are unfamiliar with it may become deflated or even needlessly hurt. It would be better to have a “face to face” SNS like Facebook.

Digital skills are also useful for applying for various systems and online medical care.

The main concern is the recent problem of scams using social networking services, but the company says that having daily access to the latest devices and knowledge of the Internet will help people to be more vigilant and to be able to respond to such scams. In addition, in these days of 100-year life expectancy, digital skills are also very effective in the areas of medical care and welfare, he says.

In Japan, people are application-driven, meaning that even if the medical and welfare systems are well-developed, you cannot receive the benefits of the systems unless you take the initiative. For example, neither doctors nor the government will help you apply for the high-cost medical care system. But if you do your own research and apply, you will benefit financially, and the experience and thinking involved in the process will help activate your brain.

Nowadays, with the introduction of online medical services, it is easy to get a second opinion from a doctor remotely. In my clinic, as many as 200 seniors are registered for online medical care. This is because online medical care is far more beneficial than spending time waiting and traveling to see a doctor several times a month to get the same medication. You will be able to examine yourself when it comes to your health, your family’s future, and your assets. And that success story should give them confidence.”

What has been said so far is not just for seniors. The accumulation of new experiences from a young age is said to be useful in preventing the aging of the brain. One particularly good way to utilize this is to use the SmileMania program.

Young and middle-aged people are accustomed to using their smartphones, so I recommend using language apps to try other languages,” he says. Languages use the inner part of the brain and become very active. Conversing with a foreigner at a similar level creates new neural pathways to try your best to communicate. Also, taking a casual virtual trip in VR to places that are difficult to experience in reality is also very effective because the sense of the unusual activates the brain.”

In addition to health, smartphones actually have immeasurable positive effects on your life. If you are not using a smartphone yet, why don’t you start right away?

The author, Katsuyuki Uchino, is a neurologist. He is the chairman of Tenryo Medical Corporation and the director of Kanamachi Ekimae Neurology Clinic. His book “One Cup a Day: Brain Soup” (Ascom) has been a bestseller.
The book also includes columns on basic knowledge about smartphones, such as “Digital Terms You Need to Remember.

Prescription for Boredom Bokeh: Brain Rejuvenates with Smartphones” (Katsuyuki Uchino, author, Tatsumi Shuppan)

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