Fruit Ninja Can Rehabilitate Stroke Victims

Fruit Ninja Can Rehabilitate Stroke Victims

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Games with motion controls can help stroke victims recover without the monotony of traditional treatments.

You can use an iPad for a lot of things, like watching movies, reading books, typing up documents, and playing games. Now, you can also use it to recover from a stroke. An Australian neuroscientist has discovered that stroke patients - especially young ones - get bored easily by repetitive motor tasks, but embrace videogames with motion controls wholeheartedly. Since a big part of stroke recovery is perfecting repetitive motions, games like Fruit Ninja and the Wii's library provide a fun, accessible, effective way for patients to recover.

"It's difficult to even get [young people] to turn up to the rehabilitation sessions sometimes," said Stuart Smith in The Australian newspaper. Smith works at Neuroscience Research Australia in Sydney, and has invested considerable time and effort in helping stroke victims recover motor functions. "You can move a bag of sand across a desk thousands of times a day and see a very clear improvement, but no one's going to do that."

Unlike sandbags, however, video games provide a structured experience with clear in-game rewards. "We've found that most of our patients actually do more than what we ask of them," said Penelope McNulty, one of Smith's coworkers. "In traditional therapy, it's a struggle to get people to do the minimum amount. [This] is a lot of fun, so people enjoy doing it ... there's also a competitive element, which is also motivating."

So far, Smith's team has found the most success with Fruit Ninja for the iPad and modified Wii games. Rather than just playing through the games, McNulty and her team instruct patients to undertake specific actions and movements. This way, players perform the necessary motions for recovery while staying engaged in-game.

Since gaming technology is both cheap and readily available, Smith envisions a bright future for stroke recovery through videogames. "This is really just the beginning," according to Smith. "We're going to see these things get better and better." With gaming often maligned in the mainstream media, it's heartening to see that gaming has practical applications in both medicine and therapy.

Source: The Australian via GamePolitics

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That's awesome! Glad to hear some good gaming press for a change (I know there is a lot of it, but the bad press seems to drown it all out sometimes).

I might just use that against my parents..

Oh my you say simple motivational task which require the use of your brain and motoric functions to execute simple tasks.
I though that was kinda self obvious, but whatever, still good press for the game world. :)
I have had to sit in a neurological rehabilitation unit for a week due to my dystonia and I saw some grim cases, but also amazing things, this one old fella went from sitting on a wheelchair to walking with sticks in a week o.0. Tho he still had issues speaking, could do only a sentence in a time, sentence pause... so forth.

Ok now, can someone come up with a game that would help with treatment of dystonia and pain-conditions (Yes I know of snowworld, but that is for burn victims).

Marshall Honorof:
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It's really fun to play using Kinect as well.

 

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