Computer games help stroke survivors get back on their feet

The ABC has featured George Institute researchers Professor Cathie Sherrington and Dr Leanne Hassett and their innovative AMOUNT trial. 

The trial is using a range of technologies in rehabilitation programs for patients who have suffered stroke, heart attack and brain injury, and aims to see how modern technology can be used to improve independence and speed of recovery for patients.

"There's quite a lot of diversity in the range of problems that people experience after a stroke or a brain injury," Professor Sherrington said.

"So it's likely that different technologies will be more suited to different individuals."

Dr Leanne Hassett, a Research Fellow at the George Institute, said the games include some that are available on the commercial market which are used on the Xbox and Nintendo Wii.

"Then we have some that have been developed specifically for rehabilitation that are a similar sort of 'exer-gaming' type technologies," she said.

"And then we have a stepping tile system which was developed specifically for the trial."

Dr Hassett said rehabilitation is an arduous task, but the more practice patients do, the better the outcomes.

"It's really difficult for patients to do lots of practice and to keep standing up and sitting down ... doing multiple repetitions."

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