web analytics
July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 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.

Current Top Story
The White House will free Pollard but bar him form traveling to Israel for five years.
US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years
Latest News Stories
Palestinian Authority construction workers are usually involved in building the homes for both Jews and Arabs.

The Prime Minister approved construction of the homes after the High Court ordered demolitions of homes under construction.

The White House will free Pollard but bar him form traveling to Israel for five years.

The White House said Pollard’s serious crimes’ preclude his being allowed to travel abroad.

Barndeis Study

“Those who were highly connected to Israel were more likely to perceive their campus environment as hostile toward Jews and Israel and to report being blamed for Israel’s action.”

In explaining the confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran, Moniz recalled a similar one between the agency and South Africa in the early 1990s.

Israel’s Air Force allegedly eliminates child-killer Samir Kuntar in Syrian Golan Heights.

The film will be based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy.

Dreinoff House, Beit El, July 29, 2015. Photos by Hillel Meir / Tazpit News Agency.

The solar energy field of at Kibbutz Ketura cost $79 million and consists of 140,743 solar panels.

The suspects belonged to an infrastructure that tried to disrupt the May 2014 visit of Pope Francis.

At least two reliable sources reported that Mullah Omar, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, has died.

By noon Wednesday, Israeli forces were demolishing two buildings in Beit El.

Israeli, Lithuanian and American researchers have tracked down the remains of the Great Synagogue of Vilna.

Ahead of the Jewish holiday of love and matchmaking, Israelis in Samaria battle security forces and old nightmares.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

A tent city is raised in solidarity with Beit El residents, where two half-finished apartment buildings are threatened with demolition.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Palestinian Authority construction workers are usually involved in building the homes for both Jews and Arabs.

The Prime Minister approved construction of the homes after the High Court ordered demolitions of homes under construction.

The White House will free Pollard but bar him form traveling to Israel for five years.

The White House said Pollard’s serious crimes’ preclude his being allowed to travel abroad.

The solar energy field of at Kibbutz Ketura cost $79 million and consists of 140,743 solar panels.

The suspects belonged to an infrastructure that tried to disrupt the May 2014 visit of Pope Francis.

The police acted out of “zero tolerance.” Arabs screaming “slaughter Jews” were not arrested.

The Secretary is visiting Egypt, but stopping off in Israel would only give ammunition to Congressmen opposing the nuclear deal with Iran.

High Court ordered the “illegal” building to be torn down. Bayit Yehudi MK threatens to tear down coalition government.

Israel’s giant generic firm will withdraw its troublesome bid for Mylan.

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: