Weill Cornell physicians testing prescription video game to curb COVID-19 brain fog

Researchers from New York City-based Weill Cornell Medicine are testing a prescription video game to see if it can help with memory loss and attention problems after recovery from COVID-19, according to an April 19 report by The Verge.

"EndeavorRx" was the first video game approved by the FDA to be prescribed as a medical treatment for children with ADHD.

Faith Gunning, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, thinks the video game could help people who had COVID-19 and struggle with similar symptoms the video game targets.

The study will test if the game can improve memory and attention functions. One group who had COVID-19 and report cognitive impairment will play the video game. A similar group who had COVID-19 and have the same symptoms will not play the game. The study will check if the group who played the video game's symptoms improve faster than the group who did not.

Dr. Gunnings said there is enough data "that suggests that a significant number of people who have suffered from COVID-19 will have some cognitive issues."

"A video game is also scalable," Dr. Gunnings said. "It's something that can be given to lots of people. We need things we can get out into the community. Even if it's a small subset of people who had COVID-19, the sheer number of people who had COVID-19 means we need interventions that are effective and can be disseminated widely."

The study is looking for two main outcomes: improved cognitive skills and improved daily functioning.

"Because really, that's the goal," Dr. Gunnings said. "We're talking about COVID-19 disrupting people's ability to function in their everyday lives."

 

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