Gaming can aid those with brain disease

File photo

Computer consoles can help improve the lives of people with the neurological disease Parkinson’s, researchers have found.

Scientists said games with sensors — used in consoles like the Nintendo Wii and accessories such as the Xbox Kinect — were found to aid symptoms of those with the degenerative brain condition taking part in the study.

An in-depth study with Parkinson’s sufferers at Lancaster University found that video games involving the movement of players acted as a form of physical therapy.

Researcher Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves said: “Muscles and joints tend to become stiff and rigid, which is why exercise is crucial in managing some of the symptoms.

“However, physiotherapy exercises are very repetitive in nature leading to boredom and de-motivation and hence lack of adherence.

“Computer games have the potential to motivate people to keep active by implicitly incorporating repetitive exercises into the games.”

Parkinson’s affects more than 120,000 in the UK, and six million across the globe.

Sufferers include former boxing hero Muhammad Ali, comedian Billy Connolly, and actor Michael J Fox.

Researchers believe people with Parkinson’s should be involved in the design of these games.


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