Navigation Links
Wii-hab may enhance Parkinson's treatment
Date:6/11/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. The Nintendo Wii may help treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including depression, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says.

Parkinson's disease is a degenerative disease that impairs motor skills. Dr. Herz theorized that the popular computer game console, which simulates various sports and activities, could improve coordination, reflexes and other movement-related skills, but he found additional benefits as well.

"The Wii allows patients to work in a virtual environment that's safe, fun and motivational," says Dr. Ben Herz, program director and assistant professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences Department of Occupational Therapy. "The games require visual perception, eye-hand coordination, figure-ground relationships and sequenced movement, so it's a huge treatment tool from an occupational therapy perspective."

In an eight-week pilot study, 20 Parkinson's patients spent an hour playing the Wii three times a week for four weeks. The patients, all in a stage of the disease in which both body sides are affected but with no significant gait disturbance yet, played two games each of tennis and bowling and one game of boxinggames entailing exercise, bilateral movement, balance and fast pace.

"By the middle of the study, we actually had a number of people who could [defeat] their opponent out in the first round, which amazed us," says Dr. Herz, who presented his preliminary findings at the fifth annual Games for Health Conference today in Boston.

The victories weren't the biggest surprise, however. Participants showed significant improvements in rigidity, movement, fine motor skills and energy levels. Perhaps most impressively, most participants' depression levels decreased to zero.

An estimated 45 percent of Parkinson's patients are reported to suffer from depression, though Dr. Herz suspects the actual figure is much higher.

Studies have shown that exercise and video games independently can increase the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter deficient in Parkinson's patients. He suspects that's the case with the Wii's exercise effect. Dopamine also helps improve voluntary, functional movements, which Parkinson's patients "use or lose," Dr. Herz says.

Wii, which features simulated movements such as cracking an egg, swinging a tennis racket and throwing a bowling ball, responds to a player's movements rather than cues from a controller, so players can do full body movements and see their progress on a screen.

"I think we're going to be using virtual reality and games a lot more because it provides a controlled physical environment that allows patients to participate in the activities they need or want to do. A patient doesn't have to go to a bowling alley and worry about environmental problems or distractions," Dr. Herz says.

Dr. Herz's research was funded by a $45,000 grant from the National Parkinson's Foundation. Next he plans to test the Wii Fit balance board with Parkinson's patients and expand his studies to multiple sites.

"Game systems are the future of rehab," Dr. Herz says. "About 60 percent of the study participants decided to buy a Wii for themselves. That speaks volumes for how this made them feel."


'/>"/>

Contact: Paula Hinely
phinely@mcg.edu
706-721-3646
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Lake Hospital System Offers Wii-habilitation
2. North Dakota Critical Access Hospital Quality Network Moves Forward with Statewide Information Management Project to Enhance Patient Safety in the State
3. PAREXEL Enhances Study Start-Up and Recruitment Capabilities With Appointment of Dr. Lars-Olof Eriksson, Formerly With Merck
4. Enhanced Vision Supports America's Leading Event for Blind and Visually Impaired
5. MDdatacor Launches First-Ever Technology Designed to Facilitate the Patient-Centered Medical Home; Technology Solution, MDinsight, Encourages Higher Quality Patient Care and Enhances Physician Payment
6. Physicians Join With National Healthcare Leaders to Explore New Ways to Enhance Geriatric Care in America
7. Echo Therapeutics Licenses Needle-Free Prelude SkinPrep System to Ferndale Pharma for Enhanced Delivery of Topical Lidocaine
8. Greenway Medical Technologies PrimePatient Solution Transforms Physician/Patient Relationship Through Enhanced Communication Channels and Improved Workflows
9. Companion Website and Podcasts Enhance New, Sixth Edition of Clinical Anesthesia
10. China Kangtai Cactus Biotech Announces Goal to Expand and Enhance Shareholder Communication
11. Humor, Mobile Devices Enhance a New Heart-Health Campaign for Hispanics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Amir Qureshi, MD is the first physician in Arkansas ... stimulation system. The Nuvectra™ Algovita SCS System has been FDA approved as a treatment ... in Arkansas to introduce the most powerful SCS system and the only stretchable lead ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... MA (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... On ... Act (AHCA), which narrowly passed the U.S. House on May 4, would result in ... be expected under continued implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled ... a new, informational blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has ... help save time and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Cactus Jack: Against All Odds”: the story of Coach Cactus ... Against All Odds” is the creation of published author, Walter Hubbard, a retired wildlife ... Carlisle’s third child Jane. Walter. Walter and Jane have three adult children and ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , ... May 24, 2017 , ... Altec ... participation in nVerge 2017 – a one-day technology conference in San Diego, CA. ... solution, which allows users to fully utilize and enhance their Sage ERP solutions by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... -- Global Health Intelligence (GHI), the leading healthcare ... published its 2017 ranking of the Best-Equipped Hospitals in ... analysis from GHI,s hospitals database for Latin America , ... The GHI database covers 86% of the hospitals in ... points for each institution in key areas such as beds, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ... it has earned a spot on Forbes, ... was ranked among 500 U.S. employers as well as ... and Services. The annual Forbes ... survey of over 30,000 employees across 25 industries. The ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... NEW YORK , May 8, 2017 ... in the transition from fee for service reimbursement. Black ... April 2017. 1.       The Market for ... 77% of physician practices with 3 or ... Compliance Technology Solutions by Q4. "Given the magnitude of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: