Nintendo Wii rehabilitates stroke victims

Jan. 9, 2013, 4:30 a.m.

UP TO 20 stroke victims are being sought for a new rehabilitation program that uses Nintendo Wii being trialled in Armidale.

Penelope McNulty, a neurophysiologist at Neuroscience Research Australia, said between 60 and 90 people in Armidale suffered a stroke every year.

She called for volunteers for the 14-day program, which will take place at the Broadband Smart House in Queen Elizabeth Drive later this month.

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“The therapy uses latest information about the neuroplasticity of the brain to help rehabilitate stroke victims, “ Dr McNulty said yesterday.

“It’s an intensive, regime based on the Wii that results in significant improvements in the way stroke patients are able to use their hands and arms.

“The Wii is inexpensive, easy to use and fun. This type of rehabilitation motivates patients to complete their therapy, which is essential to maximise recovery.”

Dr McNulty will follow the progress of the volunteers through Skype from her Sydney office.
Volunteers must be able to make their way independently to the home in Queen Elizabeth Drive and provide details of a carer.

Volunteers must also have some disability in one upper limb. They will use the Wii remote in their more affected hand to control play and augment their formal therapy with daily home practice that progressively builds towards three hours per day over the program.

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