Using Robotic Devices, Video Games To Improve Mobility In MS Patients

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease that can cause certain disabilities among sufferers. MS patients usually suffer symptoms that may affect and limit their mobility considerably. The patients usually may require rehabilitation in order to recover or improve some of their lost mobility as a result of the disease. Researchers are now trying to look into video games for some solutions.

There are now quite a number of motion sensitive electronic games available in the market like the Nintendo Wii. The Wii’s use of motion in order to play games show some promise among British researchers as a means to rehabilitate patients with MS. A new type of therapy called “Wii-hab” has been developed to rehabilitate patients with mobility problems with the use of the Nintendo Wii.

The so-called “Wii-hab” makes use of the Nintendo Wii-mote and the Wii Balance Board

to help patients practice movements that will improve mobility. Through it, patients with mobility problems may be able to undergo rehabilitation with an added entertainment function, making a boring exercise become more of an exciting and immersive experience for patients.

Aside from the “Wii-hab”, doctors have also been making use of robotic devices in order to help rehabilitate MS patients. There is a robotic device called the Armeo that is already been used in various hospitals to help treat mobility problems among MS patients. This special robotic arm helps patients to use and work out the muscles in a wide range of motions in order to improve mobility. It makes use of a simple video game that uses the robotic arm for control.

People with MS experience nerve damage that may affect their mobility and limit their movements. But the brain has the ability to create new neural connections that may help people regain their movement. But it requires lots of repetitive movements and practice. Using the robotic arm while playing video games, it may help stimulate the brain to build these neural connections faster and help MS patients improve or regain their mobility range in a shorter amount of time.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-multiple-sclerosis-20101101,0,5177526.story

 
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