Thursday, 31 May 2012



Today, I am here to share something latest and new advancement in our medical field. I am really astonished to discover that recently, scientists of Newcastle University have created a video game which helps in recovery of stroke patients.

A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack." If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.
Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.
A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in part of the brain becomes weak and bursts open, causing blood to leak into the brain.
Stroke-related impairment often restricts patients from properly participating in the activities of daily living, and impedes social interactions. Motor deficits of the hands and upper extremities are important determinants, and strongly represent one’s ability to regain independence in daily and social living. Previous reports describe that approximately 60–70% of stroke patients exhibit mild to severe hand dysfunction; and up to 20% of stroke survivors were dependent in their basic daily living activities.
There are number of researches conducted to analyze and find out the effective treatment for stroke patients to recover as soon as possible. Some of them are-

A research conducted by Hsiu-Yun Hsu etal (2012) investigated the hand movement dynamics  and to develop effective therapeutic interventions for stroke patients published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. They used a custom-designed computerized evaluation and reeducation biofeedback (CERB) prototype to analyze hand grasp performances, and monitor the training effects on hand coordination for stroke patients with sensory disturbance and without motor deficiency. The research concluded that the CERB prototype can provide momentary and interactive information for quantitative assessing and re-educating force modulation appropriately for stroke patients with sensory deficits. Furthermore, the patients could transfer the learned strategy to improve hand function.

Another research conducted by Alma S Merians etal (2011) worked on Robotically facilitated virtual rehabilitation of arm transport integrated with finger movement in persons with hemiparesis published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation.  They worked on twelve subjects post-stroke were trained for eight days on four upper extremity gaming simulations using adaptive robots during 2-3 hour sessions. Concluded that Complex gaming simulations interfaced with adaptive robots requiring integrated control of shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist and finger movements appear to have a substantial effect on improving hemiparetic hand function.

But recently the “circus challenge” computer game is created by the scientists of Newcastle University. These are the first action video games designed specifically to be played at home and to provide an expert therapy programme. Using wireless controllers, players try their hand at such activities as lion taming, juggling, plate spinning, high diving and flying the trapeze and by working their way through increasingly difficult levels of Circus Challenge the movements required are designed to gradually build up the strength and skills of the patient. The games gradually increase in difficulty and complexity to ensure that the stroke patient is always being challenged - but most importantly the games are designed to be fun.

Janet Eyre, Professor of Paediatric Neuroscience at Newcastle University, who also works within the Newcastle NHS Hospitals Foundation Trust, set up Limbs Alive Ltd to produce the first suite of games in association with a professional game studio. He stated that “With our video game, people get engrossed in the competition and action of the circus characters and forget that the purpose of the game is therapy.” Further he added that “Patients who have played the games find them easy to use, challenging and fun! They can be easily set up and played at home since they are designed by a professional games studio to be played on a laptop or PC. Patients forget they’re doing therapy and just enjoy the challenge of playing.”


Hunter SM, Crome P: Hand function and stroke. Rev Clin Gerontol 2002, 12:68–81.

Nakayama H, Jorgensen HS, Raaschou HO, Olsen TS: Recovery of upper extremity function in stroke patients: the Copenhagen Stroke Study. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1994,

Wade DT, Langton-Hewer R, Wood VA, Skilbeck CE, Ismail HM: The hemiplegic arm after stroke: measurement and recovery. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1983, 46:521–

Duncan PW, Badke MB (Eds): Stroke Rehabilitation: The Recovery of Motor ControlChicago: III.: Year Book Medical Publishers; 1988.

Rosamond W, Flegal K, Furie K, Go A, Greenlund K, Haase N, Hailpern SM, Ho M, Howard V, Kissela B, et al: Heart disease and stroke statistics2008 update: a report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation 2008, 117:e25–e146.

Trombly CA: Deficits of reaching in subjects with left hemiparesis: a pilot study. Am J Occup Ther 1992, 46:887–897.

Johansson BB: Current trends in stroke rehabilitation. A review with focus on brain plasticity. Acta Neurol Scand 2011, 123:147–159.

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  1. great mam it's something again new i have learned from your blog alwaz look forward to them.

    your madness for learning and on top sharing it with lazy bums like us ... lol
    may god bless you


  2. hey medha....
    thanks dear.... i m glad u like it...