Shalom Life | August 20, 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.

Study: An Overwhelming 86% of Israelis Are Happy, Despite the Conflict Study: An Overwhelming 86% of Israelis Are Happy, Despite the Conflict TrendingIsraeli Company Combines Style And Technology To Save Lives Israeli Company Combines Style And Technology To Save Lives TrendingDo Nice Guys Really Finish Last? Israeli Study Says Yes Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last? Israeli Study Says Yes Trending
 

N.Y. Cantor Busts Out Some Dope Yiddish Rap [VIDEO]

August 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
N.Y. Cantor Busts Out Some Dope Yiddish Rap [VIDEO]

Lee Schwartz proves to be one of the hippest cantor's around

Read More

Taipei Restaurant Sells "Long Live Nazi Spaghetti"

August 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Taipei Restaurant Sells "Long Live Nazi Spaghetti"

Both Israeli and German representatives have since condemned the Italian restaurant in Taiwan's capital

Read More

Study: An Overwhelming 86% of Israelis Are Happy, Despite the Conflict

August 20, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Study: An Overwhelming 86% of Israelis Are Happy, Despite the Conflict

An official survey shows that 4.3 million Israelis are 'satisfied' with their lives

Read More

James Franco Ups The Ante On ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ [VIDEO]

August 19, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
James Franco Ups The Ante On ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ [VIDEO]

Franco completed the ALS 'Ice Bucket Challenge' in Monday. Without pants on.

Read More

Paul Rudd is Ant-Man in First Official Photo

August 19, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Paul Rudd is Ant-Man in First Official Photo

The 'Knocked Up' actor stars as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man in the upcoming superhero flick from Marvel.

Read More

Israel Turns Into WiFi Hotspot

August 19, 2014 | By Viva Sarah Press
Israel Turns Into WiFi Hotspot

Free internet for tourists and Israelis alike as government cancels router restrictions

Read More

Ezra Miller to Star in ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’

August 19, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Ezra Miller to Star in ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’

The 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' actor will co-star alongside Michael Angarano and Billy Crudup.

Read More

The Love Jewce: In Love & Birthright

August 19, 2014 | By Kailin Beard
The Love Jewce: In Love & Birthright

There are no words to describe how deeply I fell for the country, the Israeli people or for him

Read More

More Headlines