Stroke patients considered too far gone to regain use of affected limbs
are now showing signs of recovery because of a new therapy that utilises
the Nintendo Wii.
Penelope McNulty, neurophysiologist at Neuroscience
Research Australia, shows that an intensive, two-week training
programme based on the Wii can bring about significant improvements in
the way stroke patients are able to use their limbs, even for people
that had a stroke many years ago.
"It was previously thought that
the movement and function stroke patients had at the time they left
hospital was the only recovery they would make. But we have worked with
people who have had strokes one month to 21 years ago, and excitingly,
they all improve," says McNulty, according to a Neuroscience Research
"The Wii is inexpensive, easy to use and, very
importantly, fun. This type of rehabilitation motivates participants to
actually complete their therapy, which is essential for maximum
recovery," McNulty says.
"Everyone notices improvements not just
using the Wii, but in activities they do every day, such as opening a
door or using a fork."
The findings were presented at the international conference of the Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology in Brisbane.