Daytime TV tied to poorer mental scores in elderly

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NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills, researchers reported Monday.

That doesn’t mean that daytime television is a brain drain, they say, since it’s not clear that there’s a direct relationship between the two.

But the findings do point to some association between TV choices and intellectual function, and that could prove useful in evaluating older people for cognitive decline, according lead investigator Dr. Joshua Fogel of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.

A study of 289 older women without dementia found that those who rated talk shows and soaps as their favorite programs performed more poorly on tests of memory, attention and mental quickness than their peers who cited other types of shows.

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