. The relationships between television viewing in midlife and the development of Alzheimer's disease in a case-control study. Brain Cogn. 2005 Jul;58(2):157-65. PubMed.

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  1. This correlation approach is mostly harmless, but the focus upon intellectual stimulation for purposes of prevention may have some long-term negative consequences. Not only is it somewhat misleading (the significance, based on big samples, having little implication for individual cases), but also the conclusions get blown out of proportion in the media because the mechanism responsible for the correlation is not really clarified by controlling for demographic factors. Perhaps people with declining abilities are more comfortable watching TV than losing at Scrabble.