web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Video Games Can Help in Stroke Rehab, Says Israeli Research

Video games do not necessarily numb brains. They actually can help the brain recover from damage caused by a stroke, according to a Tel Aviv University researcher. Bring on Nintendo.
Interaction during video games can help stroke victims in their rehabilitation

Interaction during video games can help stroke victims in their rehabilitation

Common interactive video games may be  an affordable and effective alternative to traditional therapy for stroke victims, says Tel Aviv University’s Medical School Dr. Debbie Rand.

patients undergo hours of rehabilitation after a stroke to restore movement, speech, and overall functionality, but many still return home without the ability to perform daily tasks, such as dressing, cooking or driving.

Dr. Rand’s recent study, in collaboration with a team from Sheba Medical Center, found that people recovering from stroke who use video games as a therapeutic method are more physically active during rehabilitation sessions, making more movements overall than those who experience traditional motor therapy.

Interactive game consoles require players to move continuously to interact with the virtual games, Dr. Rand explains. In her study, not only did the players perform double the number of arm movements during each session compared to patients in traditional therapy, but all of their movements also were purposeful or “goal-directed” and not just repetitive exercises.

When individuals plan their movements and move deliberately in order to accomplish a specific goal, it is likely to have a positive impact on brain plasticity — changes in the brain that are crucial for recovery from brain damage caused by stroke, Dr. Rand notes.

Players’ movements require precision and balance, and there is a cognitive benefit in that video games require strategy and planning. The individuals are motivated and enjoy the activity, making it  more likely that they will continue the treatment regime long-term, she believes.

She tested the effectiveness of interactive video games compared to traditional therapy comparing individuals who had experienced a stroke one to seven years before the study began. They  were randomly assigned to one of two groups of 20 participants each — a traditional therapy group, who completed traditional rehabilitation exercises, and a video games group which played video games using Xbox Kinect, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles. Each group received two sessions a week with occupational therapists for a period of three months.

Although both groups showed improvement in functions such as grip strength of their weaker and stronger hands and gait speed, participants in the video games group continued to improve their grip strength for three months following the intervention, while the traditional group did not.

Beyond the physical advantages, Dr. Rand believes that video games could be an excellent alternative to traditional therapy simply because they’re more fun. In the video game group, 92 percent of participants reported enjoying the experience “extremely” or “very much,” opposed to 72 percent of the traditional group.

If patients are enjoying the therapy experience, it’s more likely that they will adhere to the therapy regime long-term, noting that game consoles are now widely available and fairly inexpensive. Participants who were in the video game playing group reported: “It was lots of fun,” “it stimulated all of my senses,” and “I finished the sessions wet from sweat, which proves that I really worked hard.”

The group environment also contributed to the success of the therapy, Dr. Rand says. Often, individuals with stroke are isolated and don’t have a very active social life. This program allowed them to connect with people like themselves, and encourage and support one another’s efforts.

In future studies, she intends to investigate whether these interactive video games will be as effective if they are used independently by patients at home to keep up activity levels — a crucial element of rehabilitation following a stroke.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Video Games Can Help in Stroke Rehab, Says Israeli Research”

  1. Ruth Yehle says:

    Let's study this together, Nate! Remember your first NIntendo game? You saved up $80 from your paper route at 11 years old and learned to love computers.

  2. Ruth Yehle says:

    Let's study this together, Nate! Remember your first NIntendo game? You saved up $80 from your paper route at 11 years old and learned to love computers.

  3. Cherie Lewis says:

    Really interesting and useful!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers guard terrorists while checking his car, where they found hidden weapons.
IDF Catches Terrorist with Rifle and Pistol in His Car
Latest News Stories
facebook madness

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have fallen off the Internet worldwide.

Robert Singer, CEO of the World Jewish Congress; Natan Grossman (Germany); Samuel Beller (US); Florence Sprung (US); Manny Buchman (US); Mascha Schainberg (South Africa); Marcel Tuchman (US); Rose Schindler (US); Jonny Pekats (US); Henry Korman (Germany); Ronald Lauder; Mordechai Ronen (Canada); Joseph Madrowitz (US); Edgar Wildfeuer (Argentina).

Fifteen Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, returned this morning, Monday January 26, to the infamous death camp, Auschwitz, some for the first time.

yair lapid swears

Yair Lapid has announced his Yesh Atid list for the upcoming elections….

God has not cooperated with the Boycott Israel movement.

El Al has canceled its popular 001 after-midnight flight from Ben Gurion Airport to JFK in New York because of the expected blizzard that is forecast to cripple the Northeast in the United States. Flight 027 to Newark, New Jersey will take off 11 hours late, and the flight from Newark to Tel Aviv will […]

Maybe the court will forgive the gang because one of them apologized.

Ari Ne’eman, a pioneer in autism self-advocacy, awarded the Ruderman Prize in Inclusion.

IDF soldiers were dragged to missionary evening of ‘appreciation’ for soldiers who fought in Operation Protective Edge last summer in Gaza.

As they say in Egyptian, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

French far-rightist politician Jean-Marie Le Pen suffered a facial injury.

Apple may have handed the Chinese government access to the software used in its iPhones.

Was it a toy? A test by Al Qaeda? Or maybe Amazon got the wrong address?

ISIS-linked cyber terrorists promoting a ‘Cyber Caliphate’ were busy early Monday hacking the website of Malaysia Airlines.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Maybe the court will forgive the gang because one of them apologized.

As they say in Egyptian, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Was it a toy? A test by Al Qaeda? Or maybe Amazon got the wrong address?

If US Jews were to make Aliyah at the rate the Jewish Agency expects from France, Israel would have 1 million more Jews.

The White House is passing up the opportunity for Obama’s first meeting with the new Israeli president.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/video-games-can-help-in-stroke-rehab-says-israeli-research/2013/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: