Chemo Patients Might Benefit from Playing Computer Games

Study finds computer games up the cognitive abilities of breast cancer patients

A new study published in the journal Clinical Breast Cancer documents the benefits chemo patients might experience as a result of their taking the time to occasionally play various computer games.

The researchers who took the time to investigate this issue explain that, quite often, breast cancer survivors who underwent chemotherapy find that their cognitive abilities have been somewhat impaired by this course of treatment.

Still, they say that just three months of playing online games do the trick when it comes to ridding the chemo patients of the cognitive impairments they acquired while undergoing cancer treatment.

“A majority of breast cancer (BC) survivors, particularly those treated with chemotherapy, experience long-term cognitive deficits that significantly reduce quality of life.”

“Among the cognitive domains most commonly affected include executive functions (EF), such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, multitasking, planning, and attention,” the researchers write in their paper.

Science World Report explains that the Stanford researchers now saying that computer games might rid people of their so-called chemo brains reached this conclusion after carrying out a series of experiments with the help of 41 breast cancer patients who agreed to take part in this research.

Thus, some of these women were asked to play computer games four times per week for three consecutive months.

Others, who formed the control group, were asked to merely go about business as usual.

Since the games played by the patients belonging to the first group revolved around their having to either rotate various object, find missing words, plan a route or solve a puzzle, it need not be all that surprising that the volunteers experienced an improvement in their verbal fluency and memory.

“Our findings suggest that EF [executive functions] skills may be improved even in long-term survivors by using a computerized, home-based intervention program.”

“These improvements may potentially include subjective EF skills, which suggest a transfer of the training program to real-world behaviors,” the Stanford University researchers conclude.

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