Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fight depression elderly subjects with video games?

Fight depression elderly subjects with video games?

Intellectual stimulation using computer games could, in some older people with severe depression, do as well or better than drugs as a study published in the journal suggests Nature Communications .

A regular player uses another part of his cerebral cortex to perform visuomotor tasks.  Other changes in brain activity may result as the removal of some depressions.  © Jontintinjordan, Creative Commons License

Depression affects many elderly and if psychotherapy and medication antidepressants classics are effective for some of them, for many, these treatments have little effect on the disease, the authors note an article in Nature Communications highlighting the need for more active treatment in geriatrics. "Antidepressant drugs are often slow to act and often incomplete and unstable results. The remissions occur only in one third of patients, " they write.

These American and Chinese experts have created computerized cognitive training programs and tested them on eleven individuals aged 60-89 years, resistant to treatment, to improve their learning skills and memory. They compared their results with those obtained in another study of 33 older adults treated with the antidepressant reference, escitalopram (brand names: Seroplex, Cipralex or Lexapro), instead of their therapy assisted by computer.

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