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Computer games used to encourage stroke recovery

Gaming

From the UK, Limbs Alive is a new therapy service for hemiplegia patients that uses games to improve motor skills in a fun way.

We’ve previously seen gaming put to good use in the health sector through the UK-based University of Notre Dame’s WeHab recovery platform, which uses the Nintendo Wii to assist in the recovery of stroke victims. Also from the UK, Limbs Alive is a new therapy service for hemiplegia patients that uses games to improve motor skills in a fun way. With funding from the North East Strategic Health Authority, Limbs Alive works with games developer Pitbull Studio to create titles which focus on spatial orientation, hand-eye coordination, visual attention, depth perception and quick reaction times. Each game uses motion sensor controllers and has a large number of difficulty levels to cater for the wide range of abilities of those recovering from hemiplegia, one of the common results of a stroke. The company’s main product is the Circus Challenge series, which requires players to act out various movements to control the characters and successfully complete particular activities, whether juggling, plate spinning or tiger training. The nature of the games means that patients are encouraged to play regularly, which translates into improved motor performance in everyday routines. The video below shows footage from one of the Circus Challenge games: The games will be available to buy later this year and although Circus Challenge is aimed at those undergoing therapy for their arms, Limbs Alive hopes to add titles incorporating the movement of other body parts later on. Therapy services around the world – one to get involved in?

Email: enquiries@limbsalive.com

Website: www.limbsalive.com

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