As we age, we process new information more slowly, Over time, teensy changes add up enough to interfere with activities that call for lightening-quick responses (like driving)-and enough to depress many older adults, says Frederick Wolinsky, PhD., of the University of Iowa.
Now a study of 1,516 adults ages 65 and up has found that just 10hrs of specialized computer training can speed up mental processing skills-and ward off depression. Those assigned to the training were 30 percent less likely to develop additional depressive symptoms than those given simple memory or reasoning-boosting exercises.
Even more striking, the antidepressant effects were still apparent five years later. “Speeding up processing time made the participants feel and function better.” says Wolinsky. The computer training, InSight (positscience.com), is pricey-$395 for a single user, $495 for a couple’s version-but you may find the game at an adult education or senior center.