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Grant to Accelerate Development of Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Video Game


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Recovery Rapids video game and patient

The Recovery Rapids video game leads patients through constraint-induced movement therapy.

Credit: Ohio State University

Ohio State University researchers are using a National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant to develop and test the Recovery Rapids video game, a rehabilitation therapy technique that targets upper extremity motor impairment and could help stroke and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The game utilizes a Microsoft Xbox Kinect body action sensor to recreate constraint-induced (CI) movement therapy typically administered only in the clinic. As part of the immersive, interactive game, users propel and guide a kayak and manipulate items in the surrounding environment.

The researchers say the system addresses access and affordability limitations that could prevent patients from experiencing the benefits of CI therapy. Preliminary research suggests motor decline in progressive MS could be partially reversed by the proposed CI therapy-based gaming intervention.

The researchers will use the $44,000 grant to fund a controlled-setting clinical trial to assess feasibility and initial effectiveness of Recovery Rapids among MS patients. "CI therapy has been shown to be a promising motor rehabilitation for MS, so we hope that our gamified version of it will be a viable in-home alternative for people with hand and arm weakness from MS," says Ohio State professor Roger Crawfis.

From Ohio State University
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