Thursday May 04, 2017

Physically Active Gaming Activities Rehabilitate and Maintain the Brain's Health

The University of Manchester conducted a 17 clinical trial study utilizing 926 participants into the feasibility of using physically active video games to rehabilitate and nurture the rising aging population in society. By using the Microsoft XBOX 360 Kinect, Sony Playstation Move, and Nintedo's Wii console, they were able to determine that not only were they able to curb the effects of strokes, and falls; they actually reversed some of the effects! Patients in the test group who were more physically active healed faster from hip injuries and had reduced levels of disability.

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Not only were they able to rehab injuries and become more attentive mentally, they concluded that with video games aging adults were able to stay in their homes longer. Dance Dance Revolution for example was modified in such a way to teach senior citizens how to walk safely and thus gave them more confidence to live at home with less of a risk of falling. Telehealth systems are already digitally monitoring the vital signs of the elderly from the comfort of their homes. The digital television is considered the future gateway to educating the elderly and delivering health services to the home. Combining the game console attached to the television and telehealth, a physician can devise a specialized exercise routine for a patient and monitor the outcome of their vitals signs in real time.

Joseph Firth had this to say about the study. "As people age, their brain functioning, such as memory, concentration and spatial awareness naturally decline. "Various neurological conditions such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, and dementia can also impede people’s cognitive functioning and reduce their ability to function day to day.

"Recently, there has been much interest in using active video games in the rehabilitation of these conditions, and to promote healthy aging."So we were fascinated to learn that the available evidence shows how these sort of games can significantly improve overall cognitive functioning, and is particularly beneficial for attention, executive functioning and visuospatial abilities. "Physically-active video games have, according to our research, greater impact on brain functioning than regular physical activity alone آ– suggesting that their benefits are more than just moving around."

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