Gaming May Help Prevent “Brain Cell Burnout”
A new study carried out by researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada has suggested that an energy crisis in the brain could be the primary cause of Parkinson’s disease. Even more impressive, the analysis says that you can reduce the risk of being a victim if you hang around gaming enthusiasts.
According to the study published in the journal Current Biology, gaming helps prevent above-normal energy in the brain, an action that prevents overheating and eventual wearing out of cells.
Louis-Eric Trudeau, the lead researcher and a professor of pharmacology and neurosciences compares the actions of these cells to a motor of a car that overheats. Trudeau says that for the engine to meet the energy needs of the vehicle, it has to run consistently, a situation that leads to the breakdown of the car more often.
Trudeau and his team have been working on this project for the last three years. The group spent a significant amount of time learning how the mitochondria inside then cells located in the parts of the brain affected by the Parkinson’s disease function.
The team found out that these cells are complicated, and with the complexity comes a higher demand for energy. As the compound neurons force the mitochondria to work at faster rates, the deterioration of the cells also increases, followed by their eventual death.
Parkinson’s in Relation to Aging
The vulnerability of the brain cells increases with age, explaining why Parkinson’s disease is more prevalent in older people. Trudeau is quick to note that some of the cells in the brain are not programmed to last up to 90 or 100 years and as the expectancy of life increases, so does the challenge of finding an effective treatment for the Parkinson’s disease.
Death from Parkinson’s disease is brought about by malfunction of brain cells in specific areas of the brain. The cells affected by the disease release a chemical known as dopamine. Dopamine helps regulate movement and emotional responses as well as a host of other functions.
At advanced stages, the amount of dopamine released by the cells decreases and the symptoms associated with the Parkinson’s disease such as tremor, impaired balance and stiffness become more evident. Eventually, the patient is unable to walk, hold a clear conversation and struggles in other aspects of life.
Gaming and Brain Cells
Trudeau says that gaming helps exercise your brain. More specifically, it affects and alters specific parts responsible for organizing information, spatial orientation, memory, and motor skills. The team argues that brain games improve your ability to think critically. Plus, as you become better with repeated activity, you’re much more aware of your surroundings.
Other benefits of gaming, especially for adults and the elderly include;
It Helps Relieve Pain
The results of a different study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine established that in thirty-eight of the subjects involved, video gaming could improve your overall wellbeing, including physical and physiological.
More than that, playing games helps reduce anxiety and pain caused by medical procedures and chronic illness.
It Helps Improve Dexterity
Of course, gaming can help you stay active. The ripple effect is that you can move around with relative ease. It improves the flow of blood as well. Keep in mind that Parkinson’ disease may harm your motor skills, especially at an advanced stage. On top of that, it boosts the patient’s ability to concentrate on tasks.
It Can Limit Trauma
One study suggests that playing games such as Trusty Old Tetris can do more than enabling you to have a good time. The research examined up to 37 patients told to play Tetris after getting involved in a traffic accident.
Another 34 participants did not play the game but requested log their usual tasks including texting, reading, and crosswords. It turns out, those who played Tetris experienced fewer flashbacks to the traumatic events in comparison to those who didn’t – about 62% less average.
It Makes You Smarter
Yes. You can improve your brain power through gaming. Repeated studies show that avid games have better motors skills. They’re excellent strategic planners as well. Again, this is because playing video games affects the specific regions of the brans responsible for these actions positively.
The Bottom Line
With the new finding of the potential cause of the disease, Prof. Trudeau and his team hope to find a lasting treatment of the disease. He says that given the fact that Parkinson’s disease only affects a portion of the brain; it may be relatively easier to discover an effective treatment soon.
Further, you now have a reason to purchase a gaming console. You only need to make sure that you’re choosing one that you can play in the comfort of your house without necessarily involving an opponent.