Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Gaming as stroke therapy

Filed under
Gaming

Video games aren't just about make-believe and escapism. They may make a therapeutic difference.

A study published in Thursday's issue of the journal Stroke found a possible link between stroke patients playing virtual reality games and improving their ability to walk.

The recuperative powers of playing video games isn't known for sure because the study was based on a small sample and the volunteers were relatively young -- 10 stroke victims with an average age of 57.

Nonetheless, researchers call the findings promising, especially since the patients had strokes more than a year earlier, a period when recovery is unlikely.

In the games, the bodies of five of the 10 patients were superimposed into scenes simulating walking up stairs, swimming with sharks and snowboarding. Video-game therapy was done for an hour five days a week over a month.

Researchers said the patients' ability to walk, stand and climb steps improved compared with the five not given the therapy.

Brain imaging showed that brain function was reorganized after playing the video games, said Sung You, coauthor of the study.
Other stroke experts said more investigation is needed.

"It doesn't show that virtual reality is any better than any other intervention," said Dr. Allen Brown, medical director of brain rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

  • Android Candy: Intercoms
    Ever since my "tiny $20 tablet" project (see my Open-Source Classroom column in the March 2015 issue), I've been looking for more and more cool things to do with cheap Android devices. Although the few obvious ones like XBMC or Plex remotes work well, I've recently found that having Android devices around the house means I can gain back an old-school ability that went out of style in the late 1980s—namely, an intercom system.
  • There's a wild prank hidden in Google Maps that insults Apple in the most childishly inappropriate way
    Rawalpindi is a vibrant Pakistani city known for its bazaars, ancient ruins, and array of religious shrines. But if you pay it a visit on Google Maps, you're going to notice something very unusual on the outskirts of the city — the Android "droid" mascot urinating on the Apple logo.
  • There's an Android bot peeing on an Apple logo on Google Maps
    Sick of all the Apple Watch news today? You're in luck, because we have something completely different for you. An image of an Android mascot, also known as an Android bot or Bugdroid, peeing on an Apple logo has been discovered on Google Maps.
  • An Android robot is peeing on an Apple logo in Google Maps
  • An Android is urinating on the Apple logo in Google Maps (update)
    Google and Apple have always had their differences, but a new Easter egg inside Google Maps has just taken their rivalry to a whole new level. As spotted by Team Android, if you head to these coordinates with the regular Map view enabled, you'll see Google's iconic Android mascot taking a leak on the Apple logo. At the moment, it's unclear who created this little piece of mischief and whether Google is taking action. But if this hidden message is any indication, it was snuck through by a member of the public using Google's Map Maker service, rather than a Google employee. Regardless, it's a crazy (and pretty hilarious) addition that's sure to rile some of the employees in Cupertino. Shots fired!
  • Sony's Android TV-powered 4K televisions are ridiculously thin
    Four models from Sony’s 2015 Android TV-powered 4K television range are now available for pre-order, with shipping to begin in May. The Japanese electronics giant unveiled its 4K TV lineup for 2015 at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but kept pricing and release information to itself, only saying the new sets would be available sometime in the spring. Those details are finally here and the TVs themselves aren’t far off.
  • Android Wear v1.1 APK has Apple references in it, but when is iOS support coming?
    That Google is working on iOS support for Android Wear is nearly undeniable at this point, but even more evidence has surfaced in case you aren’t a believer. We peeked inside the latest Android Wear update APK to see what hidden bits were swarming about, and we came across some very interesting references.
  • 5 Things to Expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Release
    A few weeks ago, an Android 5.1.1 update mysteriously appeared alongside an update for Google’s Android SDK. Earlier this week, Google finally confirmed the Nexus Android 5.1.1 release with an update for its Nexus Player. With an Android 5.1.1 update now on the minds of Nexus users, particularly Nexus 5 users dealing with Android 5.0 Lollipop problems, we want to take a look at what we expect from the Nexus 5 Android 5.1 release from Google.

The Turing Phone Is Super Durable and Ultra Secure

The device also sports a 13MP/8MP camera combo, 64GB / 128GB of internal storage and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. Read more

GNU/Linux Share of Global Page-Views Reaches New High

Eight days in April, 2015, so far, have reached 2% share of page-views for GNU/Linux on the desktop worldwide, according to data from StatCounter. Read more

Linux Kernel 4.0 Update Kit Now Available for Black Lab Linux 6.5, Ubuntu 15.04

Roberto J. Dohnert announced the immediate availability of the Linux Kernel 4.0 Update Kit for his Black Lab Linux computer operating system, allowing users to update to the newly released Linux 4.0 kernel. Read more