LIMBS ALIVE: VIDEO GAMES AID STROKE RECOVERY - Stroke frequently damages the area of the brain controlling movement; as a consequence there are thousands of people with weakness down one side of their body. This has a major impact on their lives because everyday activities require two hands. The brain can relearn control of the weak arm, but this needs frequent therapy over many months. There are not enough therapists to provide this on a one-to-one basis and fewer than 20% of patients regain independence after a stroke. Professor Janet Eyre and her team at University of Newcastle have developed a library of video-games to be played at home, which provide highly motivating therapy for relearning arm and hand movements. The aim of the project is to analyse information about patients' performance of arm and hand movements during the video games in order to provide feedback to the patient and their therapist via the internet. This will enable effective rehabilitation of arm and hand movements to be delivered at home at times and places to suit patients, whilst still maintaining expert supervision from a therapist. The need for hospital visits will be greatly reduced, patients will have the opportunity to undertake more frequent therapy sessions, therapists will be able to supervise more patients and patients should regain greater independence. A film by Barry J Gibb.
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