Greetings from Seattle and the American Podiatric Medical Association.

As you know, we have been very interested in game-based rehabilitation and motor learning. To that end, enjoy this story, which is becoming increasingly common around the world:


A Wii bit of help to Williamstown patient recovery

Jimmy Ross with his Wii. Picture: GLENN DANIELS
JIMMY Ross copped a knockout blow when he was hit by a stroke 10 months ago.

But a computer game at Williamtown Hospital is helping the 72-year-old fighter to get back on his toes.

Western Health has recently introduced a Nintendo Wii to its community-based rehabilitation programs, where patients use simulated boxing and bowling games to challenge physical, cognitive and visual recovery.

According to wife Val, the games have proved a hit with Mr Ross, whose previously fighting experience was the odd “scrap” on the street as a teenager.

“The first time he used it he got a score hit,” Mrs Ross said.

Mr Ross, a past secretary of Williamstown RSL, was paralysed on his right side after the stroke in September 2009.

Unable to speak or move, he had to be lifted to get out of bed and dress in the morning.

The computer games are combined with occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech pathology, community integration, social work, podiatry and nursing. And the work is paying off.

“He’s improved a lot considering he couldn’t move or speak,” Mrs Ross said. “(Jimmy) would like to get back to almost what he was like before he had the stroke.

“He probably won’t be 100 per cent but close as possible. He’s working on it.”

Doctors in the US, Britain and Europe have been using Nintendo Wii for stroke patients since its introduction in 2007.

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