In a case study of 11 older patients, researchers has come up with a fact that playing computer games can be highly effective in reducing symptoms of depression. It was seen that those playing the games achieved good results in just four weeks, whereas it generally takes twelve weeks with antidepressant drug escitalopram.
According to the research analysts, the computer games even improved executive functions more than the drug did. Executive functions refer to thinking skills and organizational behaviour that got improved to a desirable extent.
With this case study it is also concluded that computerized therapy can also treat people with brain disorders. Although findings regarding depression assume greater importance because it is nothing but clinical depression that affects the older adults greatly.
The computer games are also advantageous in comparison to the antidepressant drugs as the latter comes with a chunk of side effects. Study author cum research analyst at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, Sarah Shizuko Morimoto said that those antidepressant drugs make people wary of taking them and does not treat the illness well. Inevitably they can have adverse effects and serious consequences. According to him, only one-third of the depressed elderly patients get fully treated with those antidepressant drugs.
Morimoto also said that the computer game therapy can be well extended to cure other mental disorders by reprogramming it to target the brain circuits found impaired in these disorders. Referring to an example he said that people suffering from strokes are already under examination with this computer therapy.