Former ship builder Danny, from Dudley in Northumberland, suffered a stroke and was unable to move the right side of his body. He agreed to take part in a unique rehabilitation programme designed by Newcastle neuroscientists and developed by a company using computer gaming to encourage him to regain the use of the effected parts of his body.
"The therapy exercises I normally have to do are dull but necessary, but this game is something different which encourages me to keep going with my therapy. This is the first time I’ve ever played a video game and I would really like to play with my grandchildren. I can’t think of a better motivation than sharing a game with them to help me on my road to recovery.”
The programme was led by Professor Janet Eyre. She said: "We are giving people the use of their limbs back based on our in-depth understanding of how the brain adapts to injury. The brain can re-learn control of the weak arm but this needs frequent therapy over many months and there are not enough therapists [in the UK] to provide this on a one-to-one basis."
"Eighty per cent of patients do not regain full recovery of arm and hand function, and this really limits their independence and ability to return to work. With our circus video game, people get engrossed in the competition and action of the characters and forget that the purpose of the game is therapy. This can revolutionise the way we give people their movement and dignity back, and with further support, we can apply this technique to diseases such as cerebral palsy, lung disease, Type 2 Diabetes and dementia.”
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