Cambridge, 3rd July (TNS): Brain training games boost the memory and may reduce the risk of dementia, new research suggests.
A study by Cambridge University found that video games improved the brain function of those with early memory problems which can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants were given a games to play on an ipad, in which they tried to win gold coins by putting different patterns in their correct places.
Brain training games have soared in popularity but many people get bored with their repetitive nature.
The new app – called Game Show – becomes increasingly challenging as players succeed, in order to keep them stimulated.
The trials tested the game on 42 patients over-45 with amnestic mild cognitive impairment – which can be a precursor or warning sign of dementia.
For a month, half played Game Show for two hours a week and the rest played no video games at all.
The results, in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, showed players improved their “episodic” memory by about 40 per cent.
This helps to in day to day activities such as remembering where keys were left, or where we parked our car in a multi-storey car park.
Professor Barbara Sahakian, one of the inventors, said: “Brain training can be beneficial.
“But it needs to be based on sound research. Our game allowed us to individualise a patient’s training programme and make it fun.”