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Scientists develop at-home 3D video game for stroke patients

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The game helps stroke survivors overcome their motor weakness.

 

Washington: Scientists have developed a therapeutic at-home 3D gaming programme to help stroke patients overcome motor weakness, which affects 80 per cent of survivors.

Hemiparesis is defined as weakness or the inability to move one side of the body, and can be debilitating as it impacts everyday functions such as eating, dressing or grabbing objects, said researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is an intense treatment recommended for stroke survivors, and improves motor function, as well as the use of impaired upper extremities.

However, less than 1 per cent of those affected by hemiparesis receives the beneficial therapy. “Lack of access, transportation and cost are contributing barriers to receiving CI therapy. To address this disparity, our team developed a 3D gaming system to deliver CI therapy to patients in their homes,” said Lynne Gauthier, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

Gauthier, also principal investigator of the study and a neuroscientist, is collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team comprised of clinicians, computer scientists, an electrical engineer and a biomechanist to design an innovative video game incorporating effective ingredients CI therapy.

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