Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | memory | games | video games | seniors | brain | dementia

5 Memory Effects Playing Video Games Have on Seniors

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 02:35 PM

Memory games have zoomed forward from flash cards to elaborate videos, with special benefits for joystick-wielding seniors. Recent studies confirm that memory becomes enhanced from the games, thanks to psychological and even physical benefits for older people. Video games can even improve the conditions of people with cognitive and psychiatric disorders.

Here are five ways video gaming helps seniors improve memory and their quality of life:

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1. Video gaming stimulates the growth of new neurons, improving memory function and strategic planning by strengthening the connective areas in the brain. Video gaming may even offset or reverse the negative effects on the aging of brains in seniors, according to researchers at the University of California-San Francisco. The gaming apparently alters the plasticity of the brain so it can change and adjust over time to help memory.

2. Cognition, the mental faculty that processes reasoning and perception for knowledge, improves significantly from senior gaming. Video games appear to have possibilities to help seniors suffering from neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The games revitalize areas of the cerebellum to improve cognition. Researchers believe future medical treatments for older adults with depression or dementia could include specialized video gaming.

3. Multi-tasking and concentration help improve the memory for seniors who play video games. In one study, seniors aged 60 to 85 improved their abilities to multi-task and stay focused while retaining specific information on subjects. The seniors in the study increased memory and attention test scores following several months of gaming.

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4. Overall brain activity in seniors playing video games mimicked the brain function of younger people, according to research. Areas of the brain responsible for goal setting showed marked improvement in seniors.

5. Because some of the adverse effects of aging are reversed and memory improves, seniors develop a new sense of happiness from playing video games. Seniors have reported being less prone to mood changes and often reported feeling happy more frequently.

Aside from mental improvements, gaming may also reduce cataracts, according to researchers at McMaster University. Although computer use has been cited as a possible risk for cataracts, a disease that causes clouding in vision, the researchers said there was an improvement in vision for seniors playing the game.

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Memory games have zoomed forward from flash cards to elaborate videos, with special benefits for joystick-wielding seniors.
memory, games, video games, seniors, brain, dementia
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2015-35-24
Tuesday, 24 Mar 2015 02:35 PM
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