Apr 07th 2018

Video Games as Stroke Treatment

A stroke can happen at any time to anyone regardless of their background. The recovery process is usually long and hard, but there may be a few shortcuts that cut time and costs using video games. At least that's what an ongoing study is currently looking at.

Constraint Induced movement therapy is a popular treatment for stroke victims that forces them to use the parts of their body that have been affected the most, and it is the basis for the video game treatment. Gitendra Uswatte, Ph.D., professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychology and associate director of the CI Therapy Research Group and Taub Therapy Clinic is one of the people leading the ongoing trial.

One of the people in the trial, Jeremy Reynolds, seems to really believe in the game. He had a stroke in 2015 with his hand having the worst of it. “CI therapy really forces you to use your ‘bad’ hand, so in your daily life you start to use the affected hand more, whether it being opening your car door, carrying a bag or really anything,” Reynolds said. “The video game makes therapy a little easier, and more fun. It’s definitely more convenient as well, and I believe it works.

The game is called Recovery Rapids and it can be adjusted to the patients needs so that they get the specialized treatment they need. Whether their hand needs more work, or their arm and so on. The game also adjusts itself in real time according to the needs of the patient and how they're doing. Whether things are too easy or too difficult.

Video games keep showing that they can do more than people expect. With potential treatment for Alzheimer's, ADHD, Strokes, and more games can definitely be a force for good. What do you think? Are there more good things games do?