Video Game Helps Stroke Patients Regain Motor Skills
Scientists at Newcastle University create a Wii-Style game that makes therapy fun and challenging with circus themed play.
Limbs Alive, a company created by scientists at Newcastle University, has created a Wii-style video game to help patients recovering from a stroke regain functionality in their arms and hands. The ‘Circus Challenge' game serves as ‘playful' outpatient therapy for the patients; patients perform tasks in the game that strengthen their muscles and help the brain re-learn movements damaged in the stroke.
Patients perform simple movements like raising their arms to shoulder height or pumping their arms up and down, which correspond to actions within the on-screen game. So that when a patient raises their arms, they aren't just performing repetitive motions, they're taming lions or learning how to be a trapeze artist, effectively transforming the mundane, and often challenging act of therapy into game play. What used to be dull, tedious exercises have become a fun way for a patient to rehabilitate their gross and fine motor skills.