Neuroscientists from the University of Utah have recently found that certain video games can improve the mental health of some older adults.
The video games were designed to treat the cognitive control center of the brain, which tends to malfunction in depressed patients. In three clinical trials, the researchers found the games reduced isolation and depression in patients aged 60-85. The researchers are hoping to prove the findings on a larger scale with a $7.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.
One of the games is a word game and the other is a complicated gardening game. The games chart the user’s progress and provide insightful feedback.
Scientists say they’re just at the forefront of discovering what video games can treat in regards to mental health. Soon, they’re expected to be a normal part of health care. In the next five years, they expect to see prescription medical games and apps to treat several types of mental illnesses.