Lancaster University study finds Wii helps stroke victims

Lancaster University.
Lancaster University.

Lancaster University research has found that stroke survivors can benefit from using the Nintendo Wii.

The popular computer console could be customised to offer physiotherapy for stroke survivors in their own home, say boffins. A study showed that playing specially adapted Wii games improved the arm movements of stroke patients, with a threefold increase in their ability to pick up and put pegs in holes.

One stroke survivor was even able to lift and drain a cooking pan for the first time since her stroke 11 years before and her hand “wanted to open of its own accord”.

Led by Dr Emmanuel Tsekleves, the 15-month ‘Research in Wii Rehabilitation’ study was carried out at five NHS sites. Participants took part in three trials using the Wii, with games that included hitting randomly appearing balls and playing air hockey on screen.

There are now plans to extend the trial.