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Exergaming New Trend In Parkinson’s Treatment

A combination of exercise and video games is helping some patients with Parkinson’s Disease. What was life like before 68-year-old Bob Rohrman started exer-gaming to help his Parkinson’s?

“My biggest scare when I first was diagnosed with it was that I would trip and fall, but now I don’t have that problem,” Rohrman said.

Rohrman took part in a study that was funded by the National Parkinson’s Foundation that combined movement or exercise with the playing of video games. Occupational therapist Ben Herz says exer-gaming may be the future of rehabilitation.

“This study definitely helped patients with their depression levels, with their quality of life, as well as some of their balance and gate issues,” said Herz, of the Medical College of Georgia.

Parkinson’s disease is a movement disorder, and though there is no cure medications are very effective at relieving symptoms. Herz says exercise can also play a key role in helping with symptoms by allowing people to remain independent even longer. While the study is small and more research is needed….the results were encouraging.

Studies have shown that exercise and video games independently can increase the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter deficient in Parkinson’s patients.

Original Source Reported by Christine Webb:
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