The Wii isn’t just fun and games. It has serious health benefits according to a new study. Published in the journal Radiology, researchers showed that the Wii Balance Board helped patients with multiple sclerosis, or MS, reduce their risk of accidental falls.
The study followed 27 participants as they used the balance board for 12 weeks. Participants had to shift their weight to follow along with the video game character on the screen. The 27 were found to have significant effects in the nerve tracts that dictate balance and movement.
Lead author, Luca Prosperini talked about the increased plasticity in a release. “The most important finding in this study is that a task-oriented and repetitive training aimed at managing a specific symptom is highly effective and induces brain plasticity.”
One important issue is that the good effects wore off once the use of the Wii Balance Board was stopped. This further bolsters the rehabilitation side of treating MS. Ongoing exercise routines are necessary to maintain good performance in a MS patient’s daily life.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. The autoimmune response makes the body attack the protective sheath around nerve fibers.
This attack can lead to balance symptoms and make a person prone to accidental falls. With this study, doctors and rehabilitation clinics can attack the symptoms with a better course of treatment.