New Video Game Can be Used for Therapy - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/30/06

New Video Game Can be Used for Therapy

Physical therapy is hard work and often, it hurts. Something new and fun from the Cleveland Clinic is helping kids stick to their therapy.

Kendall Vorpahl underwent life-saving brain surgery for a severe form of epilepsy which left him unable to walk, talk or eat. The surgery was a success but now, he needs physical therapy to re-learn basic movements. Here's what's new: a therapeutic video game. Kendall is practicing standing tall. When he works his muscles correctly, his favorite movie stays on. When he doesn't, it turns off.

"They can concentrate on what they're doing with the body because all they have to remember is I need to use my muscles to activate the video," said psychologist Dr. Jeffrey Bolek.

The program combines the use of up to 12 different muscle groups at once. About 85 percent of kids who don't improve with standard physical therapy do with this.

"We have had children that were able to go from basically being in a wheelchair to be able to walk," said Bolek.

Right now, this program is only available at the Cleveland clinic. And Dr. Bolek has only been using it in kids like Kendall. However, he says the movie therapy may prove to be useful in treating kids with attention deficit disorder as well.

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