Nintendo Wii rehabilitation ("Wii-hab") provides benefits inParkinson's disease

Nathan B. Herz, Shyamal H. Mehta, Kapil D. Sethi, Paula Jackson, Patricia Hall, John C. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD) impairs both activities of daily living (ADLs) and motor function and has adverse effects on mood in many patients. While dopaminergic medications are quite helpful for motor and ADLs impairments in PD, complementary therapies are also important in helping patients achieve maximum benefits and quality of life. We hypothesized that the Nintendo Wii (Wii) is a useful tool in improving motor and non-motor aspects in patients with PD, given its ability to drive functional movements and interactive nature. We enrolled twenty subjects with early to mid-stage PD in an open-label within-subjects study design where each subject was evaluated at baseline and then re-evaluated after playing the Wii three times per week for four weeks. Subjects were then re-evaluated one month later after not playing the Wii for a month to see if effects carried over. Subjects demonstrated significant improvements in the primary outcome measure (Nottingham Extended Activities of Daily Living Test (NEADL)), quality of life (PDQ-39) and motor function (UPDRS), and a trend toward improved mood (HAM-D) after four weeks of Wii therapy. Follow-up assessments one month later showed continued improvement for quality of life and UPDRS scores. The results demonstrate that Wii therapy provides short-term motor, non-motor, and quality of life benefits in PD. Further studies are needed to determine if there are long-term benefits of Wii therapy in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1042
Number of pages4
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • ADLs
  • Depression
  • Functional movement
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Wii

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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