ISLAMABAD -

Older people who play video games challenging their mental processing speed could delay the ageing of their minds, a new study has found.

According to the study from the University of Iowa, researchers found that elderly people who played just ten hours of a game priming their mental processing speed and skills, delayed declines by as many as seven years in a range of cognitive skills.

"We know that we can stop this decline and actually restore cognitive processing speed to people," Fredric Wolinsky, professor in the UI College of Public Health and lead author on the paper said.

"So, if we know that, shouldn`t we be helping people? It`s fairly easy, and older folks can go get the training game and play it," he said. The study comes amidst a burst of research examining why, as we age, our minds gradually lose "executive function," generally considered mission control for critical mental activities, such as memory, attention, perception and problem solving. The study is published in the journal PLOS One.

Autism risk

Babies whose growth is at either extreme in the womb, either very small or very large, are at greater risk of developing autism, a new study has revealed.

It is the first time that a clear link has been made between babies who grow to above average size at birth and risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder and follows from a study of more than 40,000 child health records in Sweden.

The research, led by The University of Manchester, also confirmed earlier research which reported that premature and poorly grown, low weight babies appear more susceptible to the condition.

Autism affects how individuals interact with the world and with other people and there is no known cure. Researchers believe it has origins in both genetic and environmental causes.

Professor Kathryn Abel, from the University`s Centre for Women`s Mental Health and Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Mental Health, who led the research said: "The processes that leads to ASD probably begin during fetal life; signs of the disorder can occur as early as three years of age. Fetal growth is influenced by genetic and non-genetic factors. A detailed understanding of how fetal growth is controlled and the ways in which it is associated with ASD are therefore important if we are to advance the search for cures.

Researchers looked at data from the Stockholm Youth Cohort in Sweden, where early ultrasound dating provides detailed weights of the baby`s progression in pregnancy. Infants and children then also take part in structured clinical assessments of their social, motor, language and cognitive abilities.