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SCIENCE! Can Brain Age help to combat schizophrenia symptoms?


Schizophrenia is something I sometimes worry about myself. It is more likely to affect males than females, and it typically shows its first signs during the late teens to mid-twenties. In other words, I sometimes neurotically think that I could end up schizophrenic tomorrow. And the worst part? I probably wouldn't even realize it.

Luckily, some new research has shown that brain training video games can help to ease certain symptoms in schizophrenics, namely attention and memory deficits, and perhaps more importantly, distortion or complete lack of inhibition. Indeed, this could possibly be the first real tenable study that demonstrates a possibility that playing a video can help to prevent violent behavior.

The study, done at UC San Francisco, involved one group of schizophrenia sufferers to play a brain training game (one developed specifically for research purposes rather than commercially, it seems), while another group played unspecified "ordinary video games," after which both groups were tested with several different cognitive tasks. The test group scored better than the control group on the aforementioned functions, though they showed no statistically significant difference in speed of mental processing or verbal working memory.

Have you written off these brain training games as being a neat little novelty with little real life use? I know I had. Now, though, I may fire up Brain Age again and get into the habit of playing it daily. You know, just in case I become schizophrenic.

[Via Scientific American]
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About Darren Nakamuraone of us since 2:29 AM on 11.06.2006

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011.

While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Darren Nakamura knows several people in the video game industry, most of whom are Destructoid alumni. These include:

Anthony Burch, former writer for Gearbox Software
Ashly Burch, notable voice actor
Nick Chester, publicist for Harmonix Music Systems
Chad Concelmo, writer for Golin Harris
Aaron Linde, writer for Gearbox Software
Jayson Napolitano, publicist for Scarlet Moon Productions
Brad Nicholson, former publicist for Uber Entertainment
Alex Ryan, publicist for Kalypso Media
Jim Sterling, notable voice actor

Darren backs a lot of Kickstarter campaigns! If you want to see what he has backed, you can go here. If he ever reviews a game that he backed, that will be explicitly disclosed in the review.

Darren invested in Psychonauts 2 on Fig.
Xbox LIVE:Dexter345
PSN ID:Dexter345
Steam ID:http://steamcommunity.com/profil
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