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Video games 'help stave off dementia'

9th March 2006

A video game in Japan is thought to be helping older generations keep dementia at bay.

The Brain Training for Adults game, which is available on Nintendo's hand held DS system, is believed to help slow the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia as well as improve mental abilities.

The game offers a number of word games, number puzzles and reading exercises and can offer users IQ tests for those who would like to know their abilites.

It was designed by scientists in Japan in an attempt to stimulate different parts of the brain and has sold over three million copies in the country since its launch last May.

"The game won't cure dementia," Dr Takeshi Kihara, a neuropsychiatrist at Kyoto's Uchida Hospital, told the Associated Press.

"But it's a good form of stimulation."

The game will be launched in the UK this May, under the title Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?