Study Suggests Wii Balance Board Beneficial for Parkinson’s Sufferers

It’s no secret that many folks ran out to purchase a Wii after the release of Wii Fit, associating Nintendo’s console with health and fitness, but a new preliminary study from Medpage Today suggests that Wii games—such as those associated with the balance board—can possibly play a real role in strengthening the balance of patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The report explains that “the use of the Nintendo Wii virtual reality game” was used as part of a regimen for Parkinson’s patients with an average age of 63. The study’s participants played three different Wii games as well as used a treadmill and cycling routines in their regimen. At the end of the study, the patients on the program showed an improvement in their balance and gait on quantitative medical scales.

Antonella Peppe, PhD (Research Professor at Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome) said that “the ability of the Wii Balance Board to stimulate the central nervous system makes it potentially useful in the rehabilitation of balance problems in patients with Parkinson’s disease Our results allow us to confirm that the Wii is an excellent tool that can compete with other devices in the rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease.”

That said, additional research will need to be conducted to form more concrete results on the Wii Balance Board’s impact, as this was only a preliminary study. Jennifer Trilk, PhD (Clinical Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville) noted that it may have been the treadmill and cycling exercises that were responsible for improving gait, mainly because the Balance Board’s design may limit some patients’ ability to be used correctly… though it “could be used, as a component of therapy, for managing symptoms related to Parkinson’s disease.”


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Author: Dave View all posts by
Dave will tell you that he likes to play video games, this is in fact a lie. What he really likes to do is buy games, and leaving them sitting unopened on his shelf. He is a monster.

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