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    A brain training technique was found to reduce the risk of dementia by a third, scientists have said, making it a viable treatment for preventing Alzheimer’s.

    The electronic game sets out to improve the speed at which people process visual images and the scientists said it was the first treatment proven to lower the risk of dementia.

    Their study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Translational Research and Clinical Interventions, found that just a few hours of such training produced benefits that lasted for a decade.

    More than 2,800 people with an average age of 74 were involved in the research, which lasted for ten years.

    They were split into four groups, consisting of a control group and three groups assigned different exercises: memory training, reasoning exercises, and “Speed of processing” training.

    The speed of processing group trained on a game that briefly flashed up images, for instance of a car, and then asked people to pick the one they had seen from a line-up of other cars.

    After a decade they returned to the participants and found that among the 1,220 who had not died or dropped out, 260 had dementia.

    These 260 were not spread evenly and the researchers found that those who had done the speed of processing training were 29 per cent less likely to have dementia.

    Dementia experts said that the study relied on people’s own reports of the condition.

    “There was not a clinical diagnosis of dementia and these results must be interpreted with caution as a result, as they could easily be overstated,” said Peter Passmore, Professor of Ageing and Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s University

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