Researchers have discovered that custom videogames help improve hand function and forearm bone health in teens with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.
Meredith R. Golomb, Indiana University School of Medicine, authored the study examining the rehabilitative benefits of remotely monitored in-home virtual reality games.
The pediatric neurologist at Riley Hospital for Children said: "While these initial encouraging results were in teens with limited hand and arm function due to perinatal brain injury, we suspect using these games could similarly benefit individuals with other illness that affect movement, such as multiple sclerosis, stroke, arthritis and even those with orthopedic injuries affecting the arm or hand."
The research was done in collaboration with the Rutgers University Tele-Rehabilitation Institute, headed by Grigore Burdea, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering.
Dr. Golomb added: "Popular off-the-shelf games are targeted to people with normal hand and arm function and coordination. These games don't work for or benefit those with moderate-severe hemiplegic cerebral palsy and many other disorders that affect movement. They just aren't made to be used by or improve hands that can't pinch or grasp."
The study was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.