Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 30th 2016 Contents B26
body & soul
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 30, 2016
Playing simple card games, such as snap, can
help stroke patients with their recovery, say Cana-
dian researchers. The scientists found it improved
patients motor skills. Playing Jenga, bingo or a
games console like Wii worked equally well.
They told the Lancet Neurology that the type of
task used for motor rehabilitation might be less rel-
evant, as long as it is intensive, repetitive and gets
the hands and arms moving.
The researchers designed their study to test whether
virtual reality gaming, which is increasingly being
employed as a rehab therapy for stroke patients, is
any better than more traditional games for honing
upper limb motor skills.
The Canadian team recruited 141 patients who had
recently suffered a stroke, and now had some impaired
movement in one or both of their hands and arms.
Approximately half of the patients, at random,
were then allocated to the Wii rehab, while the rest
were asked to do other recreational activities, such
as playing cards.
All of the patients continued to receive usual stroke
rehabilitation care and support on top of the ten,
one-hour sessions of gaming or card playing for a
fortnight. Both groups showed significant improve-
ment in their motor skills at the end of the two weeks
and four weeks later. Importantly, both groups fared
equally well, say the researchers.
While it s not clear from this study how much of
the improvement was from the regular stroke care
the participants received, other research suggests
adding in more therapy is beneficial.
Investigator 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
Playing card games
aids stroke recovery
recreational activities that can be implemented any-
where may be as effective as technology."
Alexis Wieroniey of the UK s Stroke Association
said the findings were particularly encouraging because
they suggest that inexpensive, easily accessible activ-
ities can help some stroke survivors in their recovery.
"Thousands of stroke survivors are left with mobility
problems, and this can lead to a devastating loss of
independence," she added. (BBC)
bingo or games
consoles like Wii
can help stroke
It is a frustratingly common scenario---you fall
asleep easily at bedtime but are wide awake at two
or three in the morning. Only after a half-hour or
more of staring at the ceiling can you finally fall
back to sleep. This middle-of-the-night insomnia
happens to everyone every once in awhile. It is an
appropriate, normal response to stress, doctors say.
But for a significant number of people it can become
a chronic disorder. Chronic insomnia is generally
defined as having difficulty sleeping at least three
times a week for three months or more. The best
thing to do to prevent an occasional bout of mid-
dle-of-the-night insomnia from turning into a chronic
problem seems simple: "Nothing," says Dr Perlis.
"Don t sleep in. Don t nap. Don t go to bed early the
next day and everything will turn out fine."
However, taking care of yourself can help limit
bouts of insomnia, say wellness experts. They advise
not to neglect insomnia and other sleep related
issues---instead, confront them by making exercise,
good diet and meditation a daily regime to enjoy
Research at Harvard Medical School has found
that yoga can actually alleviate insomnia and other
sleep related disorders. They believe that yoga address-
es issues at the physical and the psychological level.
Further research has proven that yoga reduces the
production of the stress hormone cortisone.
So, is there a solution to this problem? A good
healthy diet, ample exercise and a positive outlook
are essential for good quality sleep, say holistic health,
wellness and yoga experts.
(Fox News and yoga websites)
Help for insomnia
YOUR DAILY HEALTH
News and Advice
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