Oct 08, 2007
Nintendo Wii used in stroke rehabilitation
Doctors at Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital are using the new Nintendo video game console to help stroke victims recover.
We saw 77-year-old Jerry Pope getting a workout playing a virtual tennis game. He suffered a debilitating stroke in June. Pope said that the Wii has enabled him to regain his balance, and the use of his arms.
"Not only am I moving the hand, my feet are moving, I am jumping around, it is as if I am really playing the game. It is motivational, makes you feel like you are progressing, even if you are not and that helps you," he said.
Before his stroke, Pope was a semi-pro tennis player. He initially tried the traditional exercises recommended by physical therapists, but found them repetitive and boring.
He says the Wii is fun and it is helping him make progress. His therapists agree.
Right now just a few hospitals around the nation are trying this, but the Army has also jumped on board. Injured soldiers in Landstuhl, Germany are also regaining their strength by playing virtual games on the Wii.