Virtual Games Help Stroke Patients Recover!

May 03, 2011
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A study of 12 programs in which people recovering from stoke were provided with home-based electronic games designed to increase upper arm strength and mobility show that virtual reality games (such as those offered by Wii and Playstation) are useful tools to increase motivation for exercise, motor improvement and motor recovery after a stroke.

Between 55% and 75% of stroke survivors are known to experience motor problems in their arms following a stroke. However, conventional physiotherapy and occupational therapies have provided rather modest effects for these people.  In 12 separate programs that studied the impact of virtual game exercising for patients recovering from mild to moderate strokes, virtual gaming was effective because it is challenging, repetitive, task-specific, and novel. These concepts are the key to helping the brain recover neuroplasticity and remodel itself after an injury by creating new nerve cell connections.

Patients in the 12 programs studied were up to five times more likely to show improvements in arm motor function compared to those with similar injuries, but who were given the traditional types of therapy.


St. Michael’s Hospital (2011, April 8). Video games effective treatment for stroke patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 26, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/04/110407121441.htm

G. Saposnik, F. Barinagarrementeria, R. D. Brown, C. D. Bushnell, B. Cucchiara, M. Cushman, G. deVeber, J. M. Ferro, F. Y. Tsai. Diagnosis and Management of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke, 2011; 42 (4): 1158 DOI: 10.1161/STR.0b013e31820a8364

Author: Tanya

  • BobLujano

    Hopefully, we can put virtual games in every rehab hospital. This definetly should be researched more.