Playing certain video games before surgery can help post-op recovery
By Bob Garcia
More support for the benefits of video games continues to be found
First, researchers determined that video games do not cause violent behavior. Then, they found out that playing video games can actually make kids smarter. Now, a new study reveals that video games have healing powers – in a matter of speaking. A study conducted by Ohio State University shows that playing video games before surgery could help in the recovery process.
According to the researchers, playing brain games for even an hour each day before going under the knife can reduce the risk of problems after the operation. The theory was tested on a group of 268 patients over 60 years of age who needed surgery. They played a brain game, games that exercise memory, speed, problem-solving abilities and attention, through an app for an hour each day before the operation, and those who played between five to ten hours were 50% less likely to suffer from post-surgery delirium. This condition can delay recovery and lead to longer hospital stays and possibly death in older patients.
The author of the study, Dr. Michelle Humeidan, explains, “Essentially, your brain can be prepared for surgery, just as the body can, by keeping your mind active and challenged. Patients who practiced neurobics were [40%] less likely to experience postoperative delirium than those who did not, and the results improved the more hours they played.”
The researchers are now going to try to identify how the games help specifically and how long patients need to play to receive the most benefit. Humeidan adds, “Using the app was ideal for this study because we could easily track how long and how often patients were playing. But things like reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles or anything you enjoy to challenge your mind for an hour each day may improve your mental fitness and help prevent delirium as well.”