Move it and use it: Exergaming may help those at risk of Alzheimer’s or related dementias

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer’s, showed significant improvement with certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming, according to a new study.

The results could encourage seniors, caregivers and health care providers to pursue or prescribe exergames (video games that also require physical exercise) in hopes of slowing the debilitating effects of those with MCI, sometimes a stage between normal brain aging and dementia.

“It’s promising data,” said Cay Anderson-Hanley, associate professor of psychology at Union College and the study’s lead author. “Exergaming is one more thing that could be added to the arsenal of tools to fight back against this cruel disease.”

The study appears in the current issue of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

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