Calif. study shows that playing specially designed video game may sharpen mental skills of elderly

Game involved steering a car on a winding road

NEW YORK - Older people may one day be able to sharpen some mental skills by playing a specially designed video game.
For a new study, volunteers 60 and older played the game for a total of 12 hours over a month. They showed gains in their ability to multitask, stay focused on a boring activity and remember things briefly -- like a phone number before writing it down.
The game involves steering a car on a winding road while watching for particular signs to appear.
The study of 16 volunteers in California was reported Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Experts said it will take bigger studies to see whether playing the game can make a difference in how well a person functions in daily life.

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