Video Game Technology Helps Measure Upper Extremity Movement
[Source: Medical News Today]
Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital have developed a way to measure upper extremity movement in patients with muscular dystrophy using interactive video game technology. Their hope is to expand inclusion criteria for clinical trials to incorporate patients using wheelchairs.
In a recent study published online in Muscle and Nerve, researchers found that scores in the game were highly correlated with parent reports of daily activities, mobility and social and cognitive skills. Currently, patients with diseases like muscular dystrophy who have lost mobility and use wheelchairs are excluded from clinical trials because there is not an easy, affordable or comprehensive way to measure their muscular function. The standard measurement to demonstrate mobility is having the patient walk for a six minute test. The researchers hope the video game, designed with input from their patients, will demonstrate to the Food and Drug Administration that repeating the game with a patient accurately yields the same results, and results will change according to the progress of the patient.
“We were thrilled with the results,” says Linda Lowes, clinical therapies research coordinator for the neuromuscular program at Nationwide Children’s. “It’s very reliable day to day because it’s just fun. The scores are related to function, and really reflect what the boys could do in their life.”
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