Millions of boys could be at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other mental illnesses in later life through playing action video games such as Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, according to new research.

Scientists say players navigate the screen using a key area of the brain called the caudate nucleus, which leads to loss of grey matter in the hippocampus.

Previous studies have shown reduced volume in the hippocampus, which controls memory, learning and emotion, is associated with neurological and psychological disorders including dementia and depression.

The Canadian team said if action gamers have less grey matter, as people who rely on the caudate nucleus normally do, then they may be more prone to mental illness.

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