Navigation Links
RSNA: Wii Balance Board Induces Changes in the Brains of MS Patients

OAK BROOK, Ill. (PRWEB) August 25, 2014

A balance board accessory for a popular video game console can help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) reduce their risk of accidental falls, according to new research published online in the journal Radiology. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans showed that use of the Nintendo Wii Balance Board system appears to induce favorable changes in brain connections associated with balance and movement.

Balance impairment is one of the most common and disabling symptoms of MS, a disease of the central nervous system in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective sheath around nerve fibers. Physical rehabilitation is often used to preserve balance, and one of the more promising new tools is the Wii Balance Board System, a battery-powered device about the size and shape of a bathroom scale. Users stand on the board and shift their weight as they follow the action on the television screen during games like slalom skiing.

While Wii balance board rehabilitation has been reported as effective in patients with MS, little is known about the underlying physiological basis for any improvements in balance.

Researchers recently used an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to study changes in the brains of 27 MS patients who underwent a 12-week intervention using Wii balance board-based visual feedback training. DTI is a non-conventional MRI technique that allows detailed analysis of the white matter tracts that transmit nervous signals through the brain and body.

MRI scans of the MS patients showed significant effects in nerve tracts that are important in balance and movement. The changes seen on MRI correlated with improvements in balance as measured by an assessment technique called posturography.

These brain changes in MS patients are likely a manifestation of neural plasticity, or the ability of the brain to adapt and form new connections throughout life, according to lead author Luca Prosperini, M.D., Ph.D., from Sapienza University in Rome, Italy.

“The most important finding in this study is that a task-oriented and repetitive training aimed at managing a specific symptom is highly effective and induces brain plasticity,” he said. “More specifically, the improvements promoted by the Wii balance board can reduce the risk of accidental falls in patients with MS, thereby reducing the risk of fall-related comorbidities like trauma and fractures.”

Dr. Prosperini noted that similar plasticity has been described in persons who play video games, but the exact mechanisms behind the phenomenon are still unknown. He hypothesized that changes can occur at the cellular level within the brain and may be related to myelination, the process of building the protective sheath around the nerves.

The rehabilitation-induced improvements did not persist after the patients discontinued the training protocol, Dr. Prosperini said, most likely because certain skills related to structural changes to the brain after an injury need to be maintained through training.

“This finding should have an important impact on the rehabilitation process of patients, suggesting that they need ongoing exercises to maintain good performance in daily living activities,” Dr. Prosperini said.


“Multiple Sclerosis: Changes in Microarchitecture of White Matter Tracts after Training with a Video Game Balance Board.” Collaborating with Dr. Prosperini were Fulvia Fanelli, M.D., Nikolaos Petsas, M.D., Ph.D., Emilia Sbardella, M.D., Ph.D., Francesca Tona, M.D., Eytan Raz, M.D., Deborah Fortuna, M.S., Floriana De Angelis, M.D., Carlo Pozzilli, M.D., Ph.D., and Patrizia Pantano, M.D.

Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (

RSNA is an association of more than 53,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (

For patient-friendly information on MRI of the brain, visit

Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2014 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. RSNA: New Study Finds Brain Angioplasty and Stents Safe and Effective for Stroke Patients
2. RSNA: Benefits of CT Outweigh Cancer Risks in Young Adults
3. RSNA: Digital Mammography Cancer Detection Rates May Vary Significantly
4. RSNA: ‘Heading’ a Soccer Ball Could Lead to Brain Injury
5. RSNA: Concussion Patients Show Alzheimer’s-like Brain Abnormalities
6. RSNA: Atherosclerosis in Abdominal Aorta May Signal Future Heart Attack, Stroke
7. RSNA: Exercise Benefits Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
8. RSNA: Fat in Organs and Blood May Increase Risk of Osteoporosis
9. RSNA: Hospital Mammography Recall Rates Higher
10. RSNA: Some Women With Abnormal Breast Lesions May Avoid Surgery
11. RSNA: Tomosynthesis Reduces Breast Cancer Screening Recall Rate
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2015)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 , ... The ... programs and initiatives focused on improving public health and enhancing the quality of life ... will go to 11 New Jersey non-profit organizations. , The charitable arm of ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... Advera Health Analytics, Inc . ... qualified Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) in order to provide health plans, payers, systems, and ... making process. In addition, the DSM is also being offered to healthcare media organizations ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... A new invention has just been ... An inventor from Rutland, Mass., has modified a conventional nasal aspirator with child safety ... in withdrawing mucus from sinuses and nasal passages more safely and effectively than with ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , ... October 12, 2015 , ... NFL football fans who are interested in having ... a great cause. CLICK HERE to donate to Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) ... to win an all-inclusive trip to the 2016 NFL Super Bowl! , Donors contributing $20.00 ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2015 ... ... Inc., Care to Care has secured a new corporate headquarters, located at 485 ... will allow for improved workflow and increased emphasis on cloud-based technology. , “Care ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... ) ... "Personalized Medicine, Targeted Therapeutics and Companion Diagnostic ... Industry Trends, Technologies, Participants, and Environment" ... ) has announced the addition of ... Companion Diagnostic Market to 2019 - Strategic ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... St. Paul, Minn. , Oct. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... with it, a need to help integrate these devices ... global leader of ergonomic healthcare mounting and mobility solutions, ... Carts, its lightest cart yet, for a wide array ... StyleView S-Tablet Cart SV10 was developed exclusively for Microsoft ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... 12, 2015 ... grow at 7.2% CAGR, microscopy market growth ... focus on nanotechnology, technological advancements, and increasing ... available with ... --> Complete report on microscopy ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: