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Home Industry News VR-enhanced exercise ‘offers cognitive benefits to older people’

VR-enhanced exercise ‘offers cognitive benefits to older people’

17th January 2012

Older people can benefit from virtual reality (VR)-enhanced exercise in ways that could bolster their cognitive abilities.

Research conducted by the Union College in Schenectady has suggested that "exergames" that combine physical activity with computer-simulated environments and videogame-style features can be helpful in delaying the onset of dementia.

Data from a trial involving 101 volunteers aged between 58 and 99 years showed that subjects who exercised using a VR "cybercyle" ride had better executive functions than those using a traditional stationary exercise bike.

They were also able to benefit from a 23 percent reduction in the rate of progression to mild cognitive impairment.

Lead investigator Dr Cay Anderson-Hanley said: "Navigating a 3D landscape, anticipating turns and competing with others require additional focus, expanded divided attention and enhanced decision making. These activities depend in part on executive function, which was significantly affected."

This comes after the University of California – San Francisco School of Nursing recently published research showing that videogames can help to relieve some of the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801266913-ADNFCR

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