A game-show app improved the memory of patients in the early stages of dementia by about 40% over the course of a month, according to the results of a small clinical trial published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. Patients who played the game also saw improvement in their visual retention of complex visual information.

The WHO says that about 47 million people worldwide suffer from dementia (based on 2015 statistics). As worldwide life expectancy rates rise, that number is expected to rise as well.  

George Savulich of Cambridge University led the study. He tells Reuters: “We hope to extend these findings in future studies of healthy ageing and mild Alzheimer’s disease.”

The study concludes that, “Gamification maximizes engagement with cognitive training by increasing motivation and could complement pharmacological treatments for amnestic mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease.”

Sources: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology; July 2, 2017; Reuters, July 2, 2017.

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