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Jeff Brody
Litigators Inc.

Cerebral Palsy Rehabilitation with Nintendo Wii?

The Department of Rehabilitation and Movement Study at UMDNJ-SHRP has recently concluded a study that examined the use of Nintendo Wii in the rehabilitation of cerebral palsy patients. Led by Dr. Judith Deutsch, this case study analyzed how a 13-year old male patient responded to use of Wii versus traditional physical therapies.

Following 11 rehabilitation sessions over a one-month period, the study found that the patient's visual perception, bodily control and functional mobility had all shown significant signs of improvement.

The Future of Rehabilitation for Cerebral Palsy Patients

Because this case study only evaluated a single patient for a short amount of time, further research needs to be completed before medical experts can gauge the effectiveness of Wii (or other virtual reality programs) in the rehabilitation of cerebral palsy.

However, these results are promising, as they indicate the potential for a less expensive alternative form of cerebral palsy therapy. Unlike current robotic systems used in rehabilitation sessions, the Wii is commercially produced, widely available and only a fraction of the cost.

This means that far more cerebral palsy patients may have access to vital rehabilitation therapies, should the Wii or other virtual reality systems prove effective alternatives with future studies.

Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. While the exact causes of cerebral palsy remain unknown, treatments include some combination of:

  • Medication
  • Occupational therapy
  • Palliative care (Treatments or use of devices that improve patients' quality of life, rather than treating the condition itself.)
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy 
  • Surgery

Cerebral Palsy Statistics and Figures

  • Currently, about 500,000 Americans have cerebral palsy.
  • Each year, about 4,500 babies in the U.S. are born with cerebral palsy.
  • While the majority of cerebral palsy patients are born with this condition, between 10 and 20 percent will develop cerebral palsy after being born.

(Source: United National Cerebral Palsy Center)

Do you have a family member living with cerebral palsy? If so, contact a cerebral palsy attorney for more information and resources regarding your legal rights.

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