A study called TWIST (The Wii in Stroke Study) has recruited 101 people in Cornwall in the Southern U.K. to partake in a six week rehabilitation trial featuring Nintendo’s Wii. The game console will be providing exercises that stroke patients could do to help recover from their events.
The study is investigating if using the Wii for six weeks after an acute stroke will improve arm function as opposed to other conventional exercises. For the type of arm weakness often experienced after a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), otherwise known as a stroke, repetitive exercises work best to retrain the brain. Dr. Katja Adie, chief investigator for TWIST, is hopeful that the results of the study will be published soon.
We are hoping that first results of the study will be ready to present in six weeks time when the patients complete their treatment period. We will have to wait for results of the main randomised controlled part of the study until six months follow up is completed. Stroke devastates lives and we are striving to find ways to support people to recover from it as well as they can. —
Dr. Katja Adie
The Wii has been in use in nursing homes and rehab facilities to assist in patient recovery for years.
Given that the Wii has recently been discontinued in Japan, it could be difficult to find these systems for research like this. Or it could be the opposite — the Wii could have opened doors to new development in rehab and therapy; and for our mental struggles the Occulus Rift offers options for a relaxation experience. Gaming has been pounding its way into our world more and more everyday. What do you think? Are games just fun and interesting stories told through gameplay, or can they have lasting positive effects on the mind and body? Let us know in the comments!
Source: This Is Cornwall