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News and Op/Ed

One More Reason to Read
Turn off the TV to ward off Alzehimer's 

The impact of watching TV on Alzheimer's

Kids should tell their parents to shut off the TV instead of the other way around. New research from the Technion has shown that watching TV encourages development of Alzheimer's disease, while gardening, reading and writing and prayer delay the progress of the disease. According to Dr. Rivka Inzelberg of the Faculty of Medicine, who collaborated with researchers at Case Western University and Boston University, active intellectual activities can delay Alzheimer's. In addition, the researchers found that smoking and passive smoking, high fat consumption and minimal physical activity contribute to the disease's advancement and severity.

The research recently was presented at an international conference in Istanbul. Participants included neurologists from Israel, Turkey, Iran, Syria and India.

In a related study, the researchers investigated the high incidence of Alzheimer's disease in the Wadi Ara region of Israel by conducting a genetic survey of families in the area affected by the disease. The researchers discovered 18 chromosomal sites connected to Alzheimer's disease, indicating a genetic link that may be due to the high rate of marriage between close relatives that preserves and increases the genetic characteristics that lead to Alzheimer's.

Dr. Inzelberg noted that the Istanbul conference led to a rare meeting between neurologists from Israel and their counterparts from Iraq, Iran and Syria, and the Iranian researchers invited Dr. Inzelberg to lecture in Teheran.