Shalom Life | November 21, 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.

Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel TrendingLearn to Quit Smoking While You Sleep! Learn to Quit Smoking While You Sleep! TrendingJewish Hall of Fame: Jonas Salk Jewish Hall of Fame: Jonas Salk Trending
 

The Ten Best Kosher Restaurants To Eat At In Toronto

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Ten Best Kosher Restaurants To Eat At In Toronto

We look at the best kosher eateries the city of Toronto has to offer

Read More

Israelis Grapple with Synagogue Safety in Aftermath of Jerusalem Attack

November 21, 2014 | By Deborah Fineblum Schabb, JNS.org
Israelis Grapple with Synagogue Safety in Aftermath of Jerusalem Attack

Rabbis agree that we have to be more "vigilant" at shul

Read More

Israel Antiquities Authority Launches New Game For Children

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Israel Antiquities Authority Launches New Game For Children

With "Dig Quest: Israel," kids will learn about history and archaeology without having to get off their iPads

Read More

Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel

November 21, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Life Expectancy On The Rise In Israel

Expectancy for both men and women is up compared to 2012

Read More

Lena Dunham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Adam Sandler Read "Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Lena Dunham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Adam Sandler Read "Mean Tweets" on Jimmy Kimmel

Dunham doesn't seem amused by one Twitter comment reading: "Unpopular opinion: lena dunham's boobs are dog noses."

Read More

Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Sarah Silverman Admits to Crossing the Line With Bill Cosby Rape Joke

The comedian offended many of her Twitter followers on Wednesday.

Read More

Amy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO]

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Amy Schumer Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers at Glamour's Women Of The Year Awards [VIDEO]

Schumer gave a hilarious and heartwarming tribute to the late comedian.

Read More

Justin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy

November 21, 2014 | By Sara Torvik
Justin Bieber is Not Becoming a Nice Jewish Boy

Several media outlets falsely reported that Bieber was seeking council from a rabbi in Los Angeles.

Read More

More Headlines