Four years ago this November, the Nintendo Wii was released as a next-generation video game system for a new wave of gamers.  Our brain injury lawyers had no idea this console would be able to help people recover from some symptoms of a traumatic brain injury.

According to a press release, researchers at a university in Kansas have been trying to determine whether or not a popular video game for the Nintendo Wii can help soldiers or other people hurt with brain injuries recover.

Kansas researchers are using video games to treat traumatic brain injuries.

A recent study at Kansas State University has found that Nintendo’s “Wii Fit” video game might actually helped a soldier who suffered a traumatic brain injury restore his balance.

One of the major symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, is a loss of coordination and balance.  Wii Fit uses an instrument called a balance board to help people get in shape while they enjoy themselves.

Results from a research assistant professor in human nutrition, and a May graduate in athletic training and pre-physical therapy, showed the Wii Fit could lead to improved balance for a person doing neurological therapy.  This study should open some eyes in alternative therapy.

“Wii has been out for a few years and has been used in settings like hospitals, nursing homes and clinics for all types of rehab, but there’s not a lot of published research that shows that it’s effective,” said the press release.

The study started in March with a soldier diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.  He had done some physical therapy before the Wii study as well as some work with getting balance through virtual reality.  The Wii Fit balance board and game — particularly yoga and strength training activities — were used to correct some of the soldiers’ issues.

Introductory measurements of balance were taken off of the soldiers followed by five training sessions, 30 minutes each, on different Wii Fit games.  Positive results were found post-training session.

If this study isn’t a one-shot success story, it could mean a whole new type of therapy can be introduced to athletes or patients with brain injuries from car accidents.  Our brain injury lawyers in San Diego hope this study duplicates its results in others, but we will just have to wait and see.

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