New Stroke Treatment Uses Video Games to Speed Up Rehabilitation
This vehicle represents freedom to me, to
get out and get around. I like being able to do everything myself. One of the
biggest things after a stroke is you don’t have the freedom: you rely on
everybody to do everything for you. About eight hundred thousand people in the
United States suffer a stroke each year and it continues to be the leading cause
of disability in adults in the United States. We’re using virtual reality to
facilitate the fastest, most efficient return to function for patients. Recovery
from a stroke is a very long process. Because the improvement is so slow, it’s
very challenging to keep them motivated and engaged. We’re trying to basically
set up games that are appealing, compelling to the point that they’ll
play them on their own and that they’re enjoying themselves to the point that
they do it a lot. We feel like this is going to be a substantial improvement
because it’s going to be much more convenient and more cost effective for
patients to perform rehab in home as opposed to performing it in a clinic.
Having it inside your house is very good because you can do it anytime during the
day, which is flexible and they’re really on their own schedules and they don’t
have to depend on their caregivers to drive them around.
When I first had the stroke, I couldn’t imagine what I was gonna do. It was
absolutely, you know, heart-wrenching. You feel like you’re never gonna be able to
recover but you can’t give up. I’m still recovering and hopefully I’ll recover
even better and better each day .