To say that gaming is a popular form of entertainment would be an understatement. But what about the use of video games in the medical community as a form of treatment — have you heard about this new frontier? One of the most exciting areas being developed is surely stroke rehabilitation.
For those who suffer a stroke, one of the symptoms that often occurs is paralysis of an arm. Although some people do spontaneously recover use of their arm, for most paralysis persists. Control signals from the brain can’t reach some of the muscles in the arm. Without these signals, the level of electrical activity in these muscles is too low and they fail to contract on their own – and, hence, a type of paralysis appears.
Unfortunately, many patients remain impaired despite standard medical care. Some rehabilitation centers, however, have been making impressive headway in trying the new treatments and techniques offered through video gaming.
This health breakthrough no doubt emerged as a result of using video gaming to promote general mobility and increased muscle function in older adults — a topic you may have noticed in health news of late.
Researchers at the Department of Occupational Therapy, Xavier University, in Cincinnati recently used a specially designed video game to try and rehabilitate chronic stroke survivors. Sessions with the video game occurred three times a week for three weeks.
The researchers found the study participants exhibited improvements in functioning of the arm. The video game sessions helped the participants to maintain their independence and also bolstered mental health.
The researchers concluded that the participants experienced increased quality of life, a greater effort to use their affected arm, and enhanced task performance. Additionally, the gaming device was reported by the participants to be a motivating factor in sticking with the therapy.
To learn more about how gaming is helping seniors improve their health, click here.