Over six million people suffer from the neurodegenerative disease called Parkinson’s Disease, the symptoms of which include joints and muscles becoming stiff and rigid. Exercise can be used to treat these symptoms, but the repetition of these exercises leads to boredom which can lead to a lack of adherence to the exercises. New computer games are making these exercises more exciting and easier to adhere to.
Research done at Lancaster University combines the Nintendo Wii with programs designed for people with Parkinson’s Disease. The goal was to take the exercises done by Parkinson’s patients and combine that with the motion sensors of the Wii. For example, a rowing game has the patient rowing a two-paddled row boat which can improve the individual’s speed and arm movement, thereby loosening the rigid joints. Individuals who took part in the research said that the games were fun and also gave them a good workout.
Researchers say that translating a Parkinson’s patient’s hobbies into therapy that can be used to treat symptoms of the disease can lead to more fulfilling exercises and better treatment of those symptoms.
What do you think of this research? Can games be used for the treatment of other diseases besides Parkinson’s? Let me know your opinion by tweeting me @RyanFinfrock. Also, be sure to follow @APGNation for all the latest information on gaming news and reviews.
Source: Lancaster University