A game-console to improve balance in Parkinson Disease: preliminary results using the Nintendo Wii

Italian Journal of Physiotherapy 2012 June;2(2):45-9

Pelosin E., Avanzino L., Trompetto C., Marinelli L., Marchese R., Abbruzzese G.

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AIM: Balance impairment is a common problem in idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) often responsible for increased risk of falls, mobility restriction and loss of independence. Conventional exercises are often repetitive and may induce patients to lose their interest and to interrupt physical therapy at home. This study was aimed at evaluating theeffect of 5 days training with a low-cost, commercially available playing system, the Nintendo Wii® (NW), in improving balance in PD.

METHODS: Ten patients with PD and ten aged-match normal subjects (NS) were recruited and performed 30 minutes exercises playing with NW every day for one week. Subjects were evaluated by means of static posturography and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) before and after training.

RESULTS: The 5-day training, based on video-game system, induced a significant decrease in all the posturographic parameters in both groups improving postural stability of PD to a level comparable to baseline condition in NS. BBS score improved after training in PD patients.

CONCLUSION: These preliminary results suggest that a video game-based approach can exert a positive effect improving postural stability in PD patients. Because the NW device promotes better compliance, has wide applicability and is enjoyable to use, this treatment concept holds promise for PD rehabilitation

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