Navigation Links
Occupational therapists use Wii for Parkinson's study

Its Ingrid Bells turn at bat. She steps up to the plate, awaiting the pitch. A 70-mph fastball soars toward her. She swings and connects with the ball.

Foul ball! Everyone cheers for her anyway.

This baseball games not taking place on a field, and theres no real bat or ball to be seen. Mrs. Bell is playing the Nintendo Wii as part of her occupational therapy. She is among 30 Parkinsons disease patients participating in a Medical College of Georgia study to determine if occupational therapy enhances the treatment of the disease.

Parkinsons disease affects daily tasks that people take for granted. Brushing teeth, getting out of bed and walking become a problem for these patients because of dopamine depletion, which results in stiffness or slowing of movement and fine motor dysfunction.

Occupational therapy looks at how the illness affects the patients whole life, from the psychological, cognitive and sensory motor standpoints, says Dr. Ben Herz, assistant professor of occupational therapy in the School of Allied Health Sciences and a study principal investigator along with Dr. John Morgan, neurologist. Our therapists are responsible for helping someone maintain or gain their independence with functional activities.

While occupational therapy is frequently used in the comprehensive care of Parkinsons patients, evidence is needed to support its short- or long-term effectiveness, says Dr. Herz.

Were hoping to show a slowing of the progression of the disease and a decrease in medication while increasing function. If we can teach patients to exercise and do functional activities, maybe we can have them take less medications, he says.

Study participants are divided into an experimental group receiving therapy or a control group that does not. Each participant meets individually with an occupational therapist for one hour a week for eight weeks. Participants in both groups are given functional and standardized tests and evaluated on a quality-of-life scale before and after therapy begins, then four months later. The control group has the option to receive therapy after the second evaluation.

None of the participants have had occupational therapy before because we wanted no preconceived notions of what therapists would do or how they would do it, Dr. Herz says. A few participants were probably taken aback when they heard theyd be playing video games.

But the Wii has been popular with both participants and therapists.

Because the Wii is interactive and you have to do certain functional movements to be successful, its an effective modality for working with Parkinsons patients, says Dr. Herz. One of the therapists uses the Wii for timing and loosening up, and the other uses it for coordination and balance issues.

Participants also perform functional activities, such as dressing and rolling over in bed; fine motor skills, like circling in word searches and carefully moving blocks in the game Jenga; and stretching.

These therapists are thinking way out of the box. Theyre doing activities that will make a difference in these participants lives based on what we know about Parkinsons, Dr. Herz says.

Early results show at least short-term gains. Therapists set goals for each participant prior to treatment. These goals range from independence with daily living activities, such as cooking, dressing or bathing, to functional activities such as sports and leisure without any adaptation. About 98 percent of those goals have been met or surpassed, Dr. Herz says.

When Mrs. Bell started therapy in January, she was dependent on her husband to walk, dress and get out of bed. She could climb only one step on her own.

Now shes doing 24 steps without any difficulty, says Dr. Herz.

I may need help putting my shirt and shoes on, but Im trying as hard as I can to do it myself, Mrs. Bell says.


Contact: Paula Hinely
Medical College of Georgia

Related medicine news :

1. Occupational exposures may be linked to death from autoimmune disease
2. Occupational therapy is an effective way of improving the daily life of stroke patients
3. PA Governors Occupational Safety and Health Conference Still Accepting Registrations
4. Brown Mackie College - Indianapolis Announces New Degree Program in Occupational Therapy
5. Employers Occupational Health, Inc. Receives URAC Case Management Accreditation
6. Dave Perbix Named Vice President, Occupational Health Sales and Marketing for Kaiser Permanente
7. OSHA Seeking Nominations for National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
8. Occupational Therapy Month 2008 Highlights Profession as Career Choice
9. California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists Offers Tips on How to Cope With a Traumatic Event
10. Major Protest On Saturday Against Fringe Therapists Who Claim to Cure Gays
11. Empis Hybresis Solves Pain Points for Physical Therapists
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Occupational therapists use Wii for Parkinson's study
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The Foundation for Breast and ... prevention—is joining forces with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian ... 2015 at the Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) announced today that it ... Nov. 30, ASCP shared its “Give a minute. Get tested. Find a cure.” icon ... of getting tested for HIV. , ASCP has asked members to replace their Facebook, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral solid dosage ... effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce our expanded distribution agreement ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... magazine, quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports as supporting ... so for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov 2015 CR story ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... for the last 15 years, announced today that Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) ... care for over 45 years, FHC was awarded the largest Affordable Care Act ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... -- Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ) has signed a ... Hospitals Group, the largest hospital chain in India ... in the country. The MoU was signed by Dr. K. ... Kakkar , Varian,s India managing director, in ... , Varian intends to deploy its Access to Care program by ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will demonstrate ... the 57 th American Society of Hematology (ASH) ... and myelomas as well as supportive care, including key ... to personalized cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting will ... . Novartis Oncology . "We will ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... KIRKLAND, Wash. , Nov. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of Post-Processing services, is pleased to announce a ... of medical imaging services. Building on its ISO-9001:2008 ... adopted and implemented comprehensive Core Lab protocols and ... wide variety of research activities.  Their Core Lab ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: