Gaming has been considered by some to be nothing more than a source for laziness. However, with a recent rise in neuroscientific studies regarding the aids of gaming on neuroplasticity and cognitive enhancement, gaming may be the next breakthrough in helping to treat traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), as many as 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur in the United States each year from accidents, sports and recreational activities. Most TBIs are the result from a concussion. During a TBI, the brain is impacted by an external physical force such as a bump, jolt or other impact, causing the brain to become physical damaged by skull fracture, localized injury, where a specific part of the brain is damaged, or a diffused injury where neurons throughout the entire brain are damaged.
How does TBI affect cognitive function, both short term and long term?
- Memory loss
- Trouble reasoning
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty in communicating and understanding language
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Personality changes
- Epilepsy (seizures)
- Increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other brain disorders
The Evidence – How Gaming is Helping Neuroplasticity
Science is proving that once damage is done to the brain through TBI, it isn’t necessarily permanent. Note: The severity of TBIs vary and therefore the betterment of TBIs can vary.
- In a study performed 5 years ago by Ksenia Ustinova, PhD and Jan Perkins, PT, PhD from Central Michigan University, Microsoft® XBOX Kinect supported virtual-gaming technology was utilized on participants suffering from a previous TBI who suffered from mild to moderate cognitive disabilities. The technology combines mental stimulation and physical activity by allowing the player to control the game using their physical movements. After the 6 weeks study, all participants had shown significant improvement in balance, coordination, gait, functional reach and precision.
- After a successful clinical trial, performed in 2011, on the benefits of gaming as a treatment method for military veterans suffering from mild TBIs, the Department of Defense has begun funding for the use of video game therapy for their soldiers. The results were impressive. The soldiers who participated in the trial shown noteworthy improvement in hand dexterity in an interactive training environment, improved cognitive capability, adroitness, memory, thought processing and ability to (www.traumaticbraininjury.net)
By providing cutting edge gaming technology that aim to stimulate the mind and body to work in union, SMARTfit, Inc technology is paving the pathway to improved neuroplasticity and cognitive functions by focusing on healing and preventing disease and injury to the brain.
To learn more contact us at 1-800-900-8542 x 110.