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Dr. Okun is the co-founder of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation, as well as the author of several books including Ask the Expert about Parkinson's Disease, Lessons from the Bedside, 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier life due out in 2013.  His secrets book was translated into 20 languages so that it can be made available to Parkinson's disease sufferers around the world.  Dr. Okun has been recently been honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Okun has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and people travel from around the world to seek his opinion on best treatment approaches for this disease.

Nintendo Wii Rehabilitation for Parkinson's Disease

As exercise emerges as a potential important treatment modality for Parkinson's disease patients the search is on for therapies that can be easily adapted for the home environment.  This cool study examined the use of the Wii three times a day for Parkinson's disease symptomatic therapy.  There may be improvements in motor, mood, activities of daily living and quality of life with this approach.  A larger and longer study will be needed to further assess.  Below is the full abstract from pubmed.org.

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2013 Aug 19. pii: S1353-8020(13)00268-X. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.07.014. [Epub ahead of print]

Nintendo Wii rehabilitation ("Wii-hab") provides benefits in Parkinson's disease.

Herz NBMehta SHSethi KDJackson PHall PMorgan JC.

Source

Movement Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, Georgia Regents University, 1429 Harper Street, HF-1154, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) impairs both activities of daily living (ADLs) and motor function and has adverse effects on mood in many patients. While dopaminergic medications are quite helpful for motor and ADLs impairments in PD, complementary therapies are also important in helping patients achieve maximum benefits and quality of life. We hypothesized that the Nintendo Wii (Wii) is a useful tool in improving motor and non-motor aspects in patients with PD, given its ability to drive functional movements and interactive nature. We enrolled twenty subjects with early to mid-stage PD in an open-label within-subjects study design where each subject was evaluated at baseline and then re-evaluated after playing the Wii three times per week for four weeks. Subjects were then re-evaluated one month later after not playing the Wii for a month to see if effects carried over. Subjects demonstrated significant improvements in the primary outcome measure (Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Test (NEADL)), quality of life (PDQ-39) and motor function (UPDRS), and a trend toward improved mood (HAM-D) after four weeks of Wii therapy. Follow-up assessments one month later showed continued improvement for quality of life and UPDRS scores. The results demonstrate that Wii therapy provides short-term motor, non-motor, and quality of life benefits in PD. Further studies are needed to determine if there are long-term benefits of Wii therapy in PD.

© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

KEYWORDS:

ADLs, Depression, Functional movement, Parkinson's disease, Wii

PMID:
23968649
[PubMed - as supplied by publisher]