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Study suggests card games, bingo can aid stroke recovery


Study suggests card games, bingo can aid stroke recoveryPatients recovering from a stroke can boost their motor skills by playing simple card games, such as snap, according to new research from Canada.

Reporting their findings in the Lancet Neurology, the researchers said that playing other games like Jenga and bingo, or a video games console like the Nintendo Wii, also helped boost motor skills and helped patients regain their coordination equally well.

By studying 141 patients who had recently suffered a stroke, the Canadian team discovered that recreational activities, such as playing cards and using the Wii, significantly improved motor skills after just two weeks.

It's a finding that suggests more therapy, in addition to standard stroke care, is beneficial for patients.

Dr Gustavo Saposnik, from St Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said: "We all like technology and have the tendency to think that new technology is better than old-fashioned strategies, but sometimes that's not the case. In this study, we found that simple recreational activities that can be implemented anywhere may be as effective as technology."

The research is good news for stroke patients who cannot access the latest technology, but can undertake inexpensive, easily accessible activities that can help with their recovery.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a person's brain is cut off because of a clot or a bleed. The main symptoms are a drooping of the person's face; slurred speech; and numbness/weakness of the arms. A stroke should be treated as a medical emergency and the sufferer given urgent attention and treatment.