Video Games Are Helping to Fight Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a terrifying disease that progressively causes dementia and memory loss, especially in the elderly. There is no cure, but an unlikely candidate is being enlisted in the fight: video games.

In 2010 the East Carolina University Psychophysiology Lab began performing studies on the effects of casual games on the cognitive abilities of people when the games are played consistently over time. The titles used were Bejewelled, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures, provided by the maker PopCap Games, which underwrote the study. All 59 of the subjects chosen for the study met the criteria for clinical depression, and their depression symptoms were tested at the start of the program in August and after the finish in November.

There was an average decline in symptoms in 57 percent of players in the experimental group and a whopping 65 percent increase in overall mood. The results also showed remarkable increases in cognitive response time and executive function.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner