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New research out of the University of Rochester shows video games that contain high levels of action can actually improve your vision. People who played action video games for a few hours a day over the course of a month improved by about 20 percent in their ability to identify letters on a standard eye chart.

The authors say action video game play changes the way our brains process visual information. After just 30 hours, players showed a substantial increase in the spatial resolution of their vision, meaning they could see figures like those on an eye chart more clearly, even when other symbols crowded in.

The authors say when people play action games they're changing the brain's pathway responsible for visual processing. These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. Perhaps, people with visual deficits, such as amblyopic patients, may also be able to gain an increase in their visual acuity with special rehabilitation software that reproduces an action game's need to identify objects very quickly.

Lonely individuals may be twice as likely to develop the type of dementia linked to Alzheimer’s disease in late life as those who are not lonely, according to an article in the February issue of Archives of general psychiatry. Risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease increased approximately 51 percent for each point on the loneliness score, so that a person with a high loneliness score had about twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than a person with a low score.

Two new studies have revealed that possibly, vitamin D could help prevent up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. Individuals with the lowest blood levels had the highest rates of breast cancer, and the breast cancer rates dropped as the blood levels of vitamin D increased. Individuals with the highest blood levels of vitamin D had the lowest risk of breast cancer.

The serum level associated with a 50 percent reduction in risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily plus, when the weather permits, spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun. The colorectal cancer study, published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that same intake would produce a two-thirds reduction in incidence of colon cancer. The institute of medicine has set a ‘no adverse effect level’ of 2,000 iu per day for vitamin d intake, so this recommendation would be safe for most people.


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