(WXYZ) – It looks like virtual reality games can assist in stroke rehabilitation.
A European study with 120 stroke patients found virtual reality games fared just as well as traditional physical therapy when it came to improving hand and arm function.
The games were adapted to each participant’s ability and involved different scenarios like grasping moving objects or steering a car or plane.
On average, improvements were seen in patients with mild impairments as well as those with severe impairments.
It should not replace physical therapy but rather be used to motivate patients to get in more sessions.
Also, larger studies are needed to see how it affects people in the long-run.
I know first-hand how a stroke can change a person’s life as my late father suffered one.
Unfortunately, strokes are very common. Every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke, and every 4 minutes, a person dies because of it.
I’m very passionate when it comes to helping others lower their risk of stroke so my prescriptions are:
1. Keep your blood pressure under control. It’s one of the most important steps you can take to lower your risk.
2. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds increase your risk but losing even 10 pounds can help by improving cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
3. Quit smoking. It doubles your risk for a stroke because it increases clot formation and plague buildup in arteries.
4. Eat healthy focusing on vegetables, fruits, grains and healthy protein. Limit added sugars, sodium along with saturated and trans fats.
It’s very important as research shows patients who participate in focused stroke rehabilitation programs do much better than those who don’t.
It’s also important to get started as soon as possible as the sooner you begin, the more likely you’ll regain back lost skills and abilities.