Shalom Life | July 25, 2014

Israeli Researchers: Video Games Are Effective For Stroke Rehabilitation

Video game-based therapy issues better results than traditional therapy, says Dr. Debbie Rand

By: Daniel Koren

Published: July 1st, 2013 in Health » Israel

Israeli Researchers: Video Games Are Effective For Stroke Rehabilitation

New research suggests that recovering stoke patients who use video games as a therapeutic exercise are more physically capable - making more bodily movements - as opposed to those who are given traditional motor therapy.

Conducted by Dr. Rebbie Rand, an occupational therapist of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, in conjunction with a team from Sheba Medical Center, and funded by the Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant, the research has emphasizes the importance of goal-directed movement as a means to repair speech, movement, and overall functionality.

Dr. Rand explains that interactive game consoles insist that players move around continuously throughout virtual games. In her study, the results of which were recently presented at the 9th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies, Rand learned that game-players perform twice the amount of arm movements during each session compared to patients in traditional therapy. She also notes that each movement is also 'goal-directed,' whereas traditional therapy aims to simply exercise bodily movements.

Dr. Rand suggests that this discovery can have positive benefits for the process of brain plasticity - mental changes that occur in patients who have suffered from brain damage caused by stroke, and mandatory for the brain's recovery. Simply by moving deliberately to accomplish a specific goal results in certain cognitive benefits.

To put her theory to the test, Dr. Rand organized two groups of 20 participants each: a traditional therapy group, given traditional rehabilitation exercises, and a video-games group, that used Xbox Kinect, Sony Playstation and Nintendo Wii throughout sessions. After three months, though both groups showed physical improvements, the video games group continued to improve grip strength for the next three months, while the traditional group did not.

Plus, she notes, since video games are often enjoyable, patients will be more susceptible to continue treatment. Her study confirms that 92 percent of participants playing video games enjoy their therapeutic exercises, opposed to only 72 percent of those given traditional therapeutic exercises.

The social environment brought on through video games is also beneficial for morale, and gives a boost for certain patients having a tough time integrating back into society. Video games through therapy are really just more fun, Dr. Rand Notes, and most importantly, it offers patients a way to establish meaningful relationships with one another.

Israeli Surgeons Treat Palestinian Girl While Under Fire Israeli Surgeons Treat Palestinian Girl While Under Fire TrendingRadiation Therapy Is About to get Much Kinder Radiation Therapy Is About to get Much Kinder TrendingPalestinians Continue to Receive Medical Care in Israel Palestinians Continue to Receive Medical Care in Israel Trending
 

Israeli UFC Fighter to Return Home to Defend His Country

July 25, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli UFC Fighter to Return Home to Defend His Country

After this Saturday's matchup against Steven Siler, Noad Lahat will take the next flight home to Israel

Read More

Ron Dermer to CNN: You Do Your Viewers A Disservice [VIDEO]

July 25, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Ron Dermer to CNN: You Do Your Viewers A Disservice [VIDEO]

The Israeli ambassador to the US slams CNN for its coverage, or lack of, regarding the Israel-Palestinian conflict

Read More

Startup Club: GetYou

July 24, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: GetYou

The new app has been described as the "Tinder-Meets-Secret-Meets-Flirting Game"

Read More

Standing with Israel, from Around the World

July 24, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Standing with Israel, from Around the World

A new social media campaign initiated by StandWithUs invites people to show their support of Israel by sending photos of their passports

Read More

Zach Braff Sends Touching Video To His Biggest Fan [VIDEO]

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Zach Braff Sends Touching Video To His Biggest Fan [VIDEO]

The 'Wish I Was Here' director and star recorded a personal video for a man named Mattias.

Read More

Mayim Bialik Will Host ‘Candid Camera’ Reboot

July 24, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mayim Bialik Will Host ‘Candid Camera’ Reboot

The 'Big Bang Theory' star will be co-hosting alongside Peter Funt.

Read More

More Headlines