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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Popular video game helping patients ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis



Playing video games never used to be a workout. But with new technology making the player a part of the action, they’re helping some multiple sclerosis patients get fit and decrease the symptoms of their disease.

“Individuals with MS have a lot of balance issues and vertigo problems,” said Ruchika Prakash, an assistant professor of psychology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “There's numbness in the extremities…And then there's spasticity, or the stiffness of the muscles, as a result of which the movement of the joints becomes challenging, becomes restricted.”
In an unconventional study at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Prakash and her colleagues have been looking at how the game “Dance Dance Revolution” can keep MS patients on their feet.
“We thought this game might motivate them, because it's fun, and entertaining and because the game gives a lot of feedback,” said Anne Kloos, assistant professor of clinical health and rehabilitation sciences at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
Tracy Blackwell, 51, was diagnosed with MS in 2001 at age 39. The mother of three was forced to retire from her job as a supervisor at the United States Postal System because of extreme fatigue and failing physical ability.
“I couldn't do anything,” said Blackwell. “My left leg dragged, my left arm was almost useless, so it stopped me from living day to day.

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