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Playing Excess Video Games Lowers Brain Activity and May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk

by Julia Samuel on May 21, 2015 at 5:25 PM
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Playing Excess Video Games Lowers Brain Activity and May Increase Alzheimer’s Risk

The risk of developing neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease is high when too much time is spent in playing video games.

Playing too much video games could lower functional brain activity in the hippocampus that plays a major role in memory formation and spatial navigation, the researchers said.

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"People who spend a lot of time playing video games may have reduced hippocampal integrity, which is associated with an increased risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease," said Gregory West, assistant professor at the University of Montreal in Canada.

While video game players exhibit more efficient visual attention abilities, they are also much more likely to use navigation strategies that rely on the brain's reward system (the caudate nucleus) and not the brain's spatial memory system (the hippocampus), the findings showed.
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It is estimated that the average young individual would have spent some 10,000 hours gaming by the time they are 21, the study noted.

"For more than a decade now, research has demonstrated that action video game players display more efficient visual attention abilities, and our current study has once again confirmed this notion," first author West added.

"However, we also found that gamers rely on the caudate-nucleus to a greater degree than non-gamers. Past research has shown that people who rely on caudate nucleus-dependent strategies have lower gray matter and functional brain activity in the hippocampus."



Source: Medindia
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