Navigation Links
Video Games Might Aid in Stroke Rehab
Date:4/8/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Playing video games while recovering after a stroke appears to promote arm strength and function, Canadian researchers find.

"Stroke rehabilitation is rapidly evolving. Novel approaches -- including the use of virtual reality [gaming] systems -- may help improve motor impairment, activities and social participation," said lead researcher Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Unit at St. Michael's Hospital at the University of Toronto.

"Virtual reality may provide an affordable, enjoyable and effective alternative to intensify treatment and promote motor recovery after stroke," he added.

Up to 75 percent of stroke patients experience motor problems, including weakness, paralysis or difficulty with balance and coordination that can affect their quality of life. Conventional therapy provides only "modest and sometimes delayed effects" in treating these disorders, according to Saposnik.

The new study findings are published in the April 7 online edition of the journal Stroke.

To find out whether video games could play a role in stroke rehabilitation, Saposnik's team performed what is called a meta-analysis. In this type of study, investigators search the published literature to find studies related to the theory they are interested in testing. They then pull data from these studies and pool the results to come up with a conclusion.

In this case, they found 12 studies that included a total of 195 patients, aged 26 to 88 years, who had suffered a mild to moderate stroke. Each study reported the effects of electronic games on upper arm strength and function.

Of these studies, seven were observational and five were randomized trials. Observational studies are those in which researchers observe behavior but without trying to influence behavior or the outcome -- such as comparing smokers with nonsmokers.

Randomized trials are ones where similar patients are randomly assigned to a certain treatment group -- such as playing video games -- while others are assigned to a different kind of group. These trials look for a specific outcome over a certain period of time.

Among stroke patients in observational studies, those playing virtual reality games improved their upper arm strength by 14.7 percent and motor function -- or the ability to perform standard tasks -- by 20 percent.

Those in the randomized trials who played virtual reality games had a 4.89 times greater chance of improving arm strength, compared with those did not play these games but had standard rehabilitation, the researchers found.

Treatment varied in each study, however, most patients played 20 to 30 hours over four to six weeks of therapy, the authors noted. The systems used included three traditional video game systems (Glasstron, IREX, PlayStation Eye Toy) and nine virtual reality systems (including Virtual Teacher, CyberGlove, VR Motion, PneuGlove and Wii).

Saposnik also noted that some studies looked at video gaming used in addition to standard therapy, something he said may have skewed the results somewhat in favor of the new therapy.

Video gaming may help stroke patients because of the brain's unusual potential for remodeling, in which it creates new nerve cell connections, some studies suggest. What is needed for such remodeling, recent research indicates, is training that is challenging, repetitive, task-specific, novel and motivating -- all hallmarks of virtual reality games, which can also give immediate real-time feedback.

"Our study confirms the potential benefit of virtual reality in stroke rehabilitation identified in small studies," Saposnik said. "Further larger randomized trials are needed before changing practice. However, we are [going] in the right direction," he added.

Commenting on the study, Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, president of the American Heart Association and chair of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said, "This is provocative information that should move us toward larger randomized trials to evaluate the impact of virtual reality in stroke rehab."

Sacco added that many stroke patients don't get into rehab programs and might benefit from "innovative outpatient rehab approaches."

However, he is cautious about recommending virtual reality games as part of rehabilitation based on the meta-analysis.

"It's still premature today to have patients go out and buy virtual reality video games to improve motor function," Sacco said. "The message is still that continued rehabilitation exercises on your own still help months, even years, after a stroke."

More information

For more information on stroke, visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

SOURCES: Gustavo Saposnik, M.D., director, Stroke Outcomes Research Unit, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada; Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., president, American Heart Association, and chairman, neurology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; April 7, 2011, Stroke, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Nationwide Video Search Kicks off Ban Asbestos Campaign
2. Nationwide Video Search Kicks off Ban Asbestos Campaign
3. Beat The Odds and Get Back on Track; Revitalizing Fitness Training and Exercise Resolutions With Newly Released, Complimentary Video Series
4. Solutions for Sleep Problems: Harvard's Improving Sleep Special Health Report and New Sleep Apnea Video
5. Cell Phones, Video Games Dont Spur Teen Headaches
6. VIDEO from Medialink and AAFA: Asthma PSA Reinforces Prevention of Asthma Symptoms
7. BCS Global Launches PSVN (Public Switched Video Network), an Initiative to Provide a Framework for Inter-Connecting Business to Business Video Networks
8. Diabetics Twice as Likely to Have Hearing Loss; Florida HearUSA Centers to Offer Free Hearing Screening and Diabetes Video in March
9. Diabetics Twice as Likely to Have Hearing Loss; Massachusetts HearUSA Centers to Offer Free Hearing Screening and Diabetes Video in March
10. VIDEO from Medialink and American Lung Association: Dont Quit on Your Resolution to Quit Smoking!
11. Video games may help combat depression in older adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
 Video Games Might Aid in Stroke Rehab
(Date:2/25/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... February 25, 2017 , ... FCPX ... ProSharpen Color tools from Pixel Film Studios. With ProSharpen Color users have total control ... to easily refine their color range. With color spectrum tools users can visually see ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... WHAT: , The New Jersey Tech ... well as advocacy for the state and region‘s technology businesses, hosted their 2017 ... Council's Innovation Forecast event highlights innovation throughout the region from small to large ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... In the Health Care IT campaign, Robert Herjavec discusses health IT ... you will be attacked, but when.” However, he and many others involved highlight a ... Improvements in auditing and monitoring have taken security in health care a very long ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... With ProGlass Prism users now have the ability ... total control over position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, chromatic aberration, individual glass ... , With ProGlass Prism users are given the tools and effects to generate ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... Indiana Fiber Network ... the company later this year. Dyer started as the Chairman of the Management ... the establishment of the corporation including the recruitment of investor/owners and development of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Empty Capsules Market is poised ... to reach approximately $2.9 billion by 2025. This industry ... on global as well as regional levels presented in the research scope. ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... HARRISBURG, Pa. , Feb. 24, 2017 ... Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith ... role in providing training for and using naloxone, a ... Mark McCullough , a recovery specialist and overdose ... naloxone by EMS providers. "A significant part ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Juan Monteverde , founder and managing ... boutique securities firm headquartered at the Empire State Building ... that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the ... Inotek Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ:  ITEK)("Inotek" or the "Company") on ... 2015 and December 30, 2016, inclusive (the "Class Period").  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: