In a nutshell
This study investigated the effects of exergames (EG) in the treatment of movement symptoms in patients with stroke. Researchers suggested that EG is a safe option to treat disability in stroke survivors.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. As the population of the world is aging, the stroke rates are likely to increase. A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is cut-off. Brain cells do not receive enough oxygen and begin to die. The abilities controlled by these cells are lost causing symptoms such as muscle weakness.
The negative effects of stroke have a significant impact on the quality of life of these patients. Therefore, rehabilitation is necessary for all stroke survivors. Therapy using video games has been widely accepted and is being used. EG has been used to combine entertainment and body movement in the treatment of patients. These games tell the patients to perform a movement or a task. These movements are then detected through sensors being held by the patient.
Several studies showed the positive effects of EG. However, the effectiveness of EG in patients recovering from disability after a stroke is not well known.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 31 participants with stroke. These patients were assigned to receive EG therapy (16) or standard physical therapy (15). Therapy sessions happened two times a week, for 30 minutes each over a 12-week period.
Patients had a significant improvement in movement in balance in both groups. However, EG therapy was associated with significantly better outcomes.
The bottom line
This study concluded that EG might be a better alternative to standard therapy for the treatment of disability in stroke survivors.
The fine print
This study did not include patients under treatment programs that include both EG and standard physical therapy. Also, the number of participants was very small. Further studies are needed.
Published By :
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of the National Stroke Association
Jun 13, 2019