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"Digital Dementia" Threat Causes Concern Among Doctors

| 26 Jun 2013 14:45
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Doctors in South Korea say overuse of digital devices cam impede development of the brain, leading to irreversible "digital dementia."

Odds are that if you're reading this, you have multiple digital devices in your life - a PC, gaming consoles, a smartphone and so forth - and according to doctors in South Korea, that could be a problem. "Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain," Dr. Byun Gi-won of the Balance Brain Centre in Seoul told the JoongAng Daily newspaper. "Heavy users are likely to develop the left side of their brains, leaving the right side untapped or underdeveloped."

According to the doctor, the failure of the right side of the brain to properly develop will negatively impact attention and memory span, and lead to emotional underdevelopment. In 15 percent of these cases, it can also lead to the early onset of dementia. Children are at greater risk of suffering deleterious effects of digital device overuse because their brains are still developing.

It's a problem everywhere (if it is in fact a problem) but nowhere more than in South Korea, which has the highest rate of smartphone ownership in the world at 67 percent - 64 percent among teenagers - and an alarming (at least in my eyes) 18.4 percent of people between the ages of 10 and 19 who use their smartphones for more than seven hours per day. Doctors say those growing usage rates will likely lead to increasing numbers of "digital dementia" cases in the future.

Source: The Telegraph

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