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Could Wii help those with Parkinson's?

Could Wii help those with Parkinson's?
3rd December 2010

Parkinson's UK has commissioned an investigation on the potential benefits of the Nintendo Wii on people with the disease.

The organisation donated almost £35,000 to Dr Cathy Craig at Queen's University Belfast after receiving a lot of great feedback about the gaming device and how it had helped those with Parkinson's disease.

In a recent poll of individuals with Parkinson's who use the Wii, 81 per cent said they use it for exercise, with two-thirds claiming that the device helps them manage their symptoms and improve their mood, balance and movements.

According to Parkinson's UK, existing research has consistently shown that exercise could help protect the nerve cells that die in those with the disease.

Dr Kieran Breen, director of research and development for the charity, said: "The Wii also has the potential to be used as a way of measuring the symptoms for Parkinson's in future clinical trials of other treatments."

This comes after actress Helen Mirren told the Guardian that more education about the condition is needed in order to shift the public attitude towards it.

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