How playing brain games before surgery can help improve recovery
Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine found that exercising your brain with “neurobics” before surgery can help prevent post-surgery delirium.
They found that brain can be prepared for surgery, just as the body can, by keeping your mind active and challenged. The study findings are published online in the journal JAMA Surgery.
To study the effects of neurobics to prevent delirium, researchers gave 268 patients over the age of 60 an electronic tablet loaded with a brain game app. Patients were asked to play one hour of games per day in the days leading up to a major surgery requiring general anesthesia.
“Not all patients played the games as much as we asked, but those who played any at all saw some benefit,” said Dr. Michelle Humeidan, an associate professor of anesthesiology at Ohio State College of Medicine Wexner Medical Center and first author of the study. “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.”
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