Breaking News
December 15, 2017 - Meta-Analysis: Hearing Loss Linked to Dementia in Elderly
December 15, 2017 - Second Phase 3 study results for LMTX published
December 15, 2017 - Experts call for more action on gambling-related research and treatment
December 15, 2017 - Allergens found to be widespread, but highly variable in U.S. homes
December 15, 2017 - Terror survivors have increased risk of frequent migraine, tension headaches
December 15, 2017 - EndoBreak: Automated Insulin Delivery System; Artificial Ovaries?
December 15, 2017 - Drug deaths increase as fewer people access treatment
December 15, 2017 - Survey shows prevalence of diarrhea in people living with HIV
December 15, 2017 - Mosquito-infected monkeys may provide better understanding of Zika transmission routes
December 15, 2017 - Loyola Medicine otolaryngologist corrects sleep apnea symptoms with ENT procedure
December 15, 2017 - For marketplace customers who delay, auto-enrollment could be nasty wake-up
December 15, 2017 - Researchers identify potential alternatives to tackle drug resistant malaria parasites
December 15, 2017 - Scientists unravel mystery of how immune cells remember infections decades later
December 15, 2017 - Outcomes Poorer for Black Patients with Early Breast Ca
December 15, 2017 - Fusion gene may be found in cSCC lesions on skin exposed frequently to the sun
December 15, 2017 - Liposuction May Ease Limb Swelling in Cancer Patients
December 15, 2017 - Exascale supercomputers may discover new, cheaper drugs in future
December 15, 2017 - How well can digital assistants answer questions on sex?
December 15, 2017 - NIH-funded study to explore hearing loss risk in Detroit firefighters
December 15, 2017 - Caris Life Sciences reveals identification of new mechanism of action to treat NHL
December 15, 2017 - Loyola Medicine study finds high success rate for diabetic Charcot foot surgery
December 15, 2017 - Bone marrow edema does not increase due to intense physical activity, study finds
December 15, 2017 - Human ‘common cold’ virus kills healthy chimpanzees in Uganda
December 15, 2017 - Experience of reflex walking refines perception of biological motion during early infancy
December 15, 2017 - FDA Approves Admelog (insulin lispro) Rapid-Acting “Follow-On” Insulin Product to Treat Diabetes
December 14, 2017 - Friday Feedback: Good Idea for Ex-Pharma Exec to Run HHS?
December 14, 2017 - More than 200 people sickened onboard Ovation of Seas cruise
December 14, 2017 - FDA announces new approach for sharing updates on antibiotics, antifungal drugs to physicians
December 14, 2017 - Steroid study provides new insights into medicines’ side effects
December 14, 2017 - Government announces plans to include eye test reminder during driving license renewal
December 14, 2017 - Non-ionizing radiation from magnetic fields could have adverse biological impacts on health
December 14, 2017 - Bi-annual MRI beats mammograms in detecting breast cancer among women with genetic risk
December 14, 2017 - Researchers develop new method for quickly detecting signs of multiple sclerosis
December 14, 2017 - In era of increased competition, hospitals fret over ratings
December 14, 2017 - Female veterans experience improvement in low back pain with course of chiropractic care
December 14, 2017 - Relieving Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis with Exercise
December 14, 2017 - FDA Alert: Blue Pearl All Natural Male Enhancement Supplement: Recall
December 14, 2017 - CardioBrief: In Defense Of ORBITA
December 14, 2017 - Definition of High Blood Pressure Drops: MedlinePlus Health News
December 14, 2017 - Drug may help surgical patients stop opioids sooner
December 14, 2017 - Researchers develop biosensor that enables development of new health tests
December 14, 2017 - Radiation therapy can be used to treat patients with life-threatening heart rhythm
December 14, 2017 - UVA researchers developing tool to help prostate cancer patients weigh treatment options
December 14, 2017 - Experts tell Congress how to cut drug prices
December 14, 2017 - Researchers use cryptographic techniques to decode activity of motor neurons
December 14, 2017 - Study finds changes in the heart after spinal cord injury
December 14, 2017 - Health Highlights: Dec. 12, 2017
December 14, 2017 - Pelzman’s Picks: How States Can Cut Disparities in Care and Costs
December 14, 2017 - New Hemophilia Treatment Stems Bleeding Episodes: MedlinePlus Health News
December 14, 2017 - Onetime ‘world’s heaviest man’ has second surgery in Mexico
December 14, 2017 - Belgian researchers create transplantable artificial ovary prototype
December 14, 2017 - Using atraumatic needles for lumbar punctures decreases risk of complications
December 14, 2017 - Outpatient total knee replacement surgery linked to higher rates of complications
December 14, 2017 - Social impairments can be corrected by brain stimulation
December 14, 2017 - Studies reveal possibility for memory T cells to serve a dual purpose
December 14, 2017 - Antibody-Drug Conjugate Ups PFS in Untreated Hodgkin’s
December 14, 2017 - Study finds reading information aloud to yourself improves memory
December 14, 2017 - Researchers use RNA nanotechnology to program exosomes for delivering effective cancer therapies
December 14, 2017 - Living Lyme disease bacteria found months after antibiotic treatment
December 14, 2017 - These annual checkups help seniors not only survive but thrive
December 14, 2017 - Study reveals impact of diabetes during pregnancy on baby’s heart
December 14, 2017 - Hydraulic fracturing is harmful to infants health, study states
December 14, 2017 - Huntington’s disease drug clears initial hurdles
December 14, 2017 - TPU researchers create 3D-printed models of children’s hearts
December 14, 2017 - Brain responses of children with inherited dyslexia risk predict their future reading speed
December 14, 2017 - People diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder may actually have treatable condition
December 14, 2017 - Study: New Furosemide Formulation Simplifies Administration for HF
December 14, 2017 - Discrimination harms your health—and your partner’s
December 14, 2017 - Having older brothers may increase the likelihood of being gay
December 14, 2017 - New scientific yardstick released to help early detection of Alzheimer’s disease
December 14, 2017 - New finding demonstrates what happens at cellular level during onset of type2 diabetes
December 14, 2017 - Study identifies potassium as key to circadian rhythms in red blood cells
December 14, 2017 - Good friends might be your best brain booster as you age
December 14, 2017 - NIH expected to award up to $70 million to launch Alzheimer’s Clinical Trials Consortium
December 14, 2017 - Pitting pathogens against each other could prevent drug resistance emerging
December 14, 2017 - Study provides new insights into development of Sonic Hedgehog medulloblastoma
December 14, 2017 - Dr. Reddy’s Announces Approval of Impoyz (clobetasol propionate) Cream for Plaque Psoriasis
December 14, 2017 - Gene Screens Can Alter Perception, Behavior
December 14, 2017 - Can Scrotal Vein Condition Hike Heart Risks?: MedlinePlus Health News
December 14, 2017 - Molecules in spit may be able to diagnose and predict length of concussions
Video game improves balance in youth with autism

Video game improves balance in youth with autism

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Brittany Travers, an investigator at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Waisman Center and an assistant professor of kinesiology, works with a study participant while she plays a video game designed to help youth with autism improve their balance. It may also help improve some of their autism-related symptoms. Credit: Andy Manis

Playing a video game that rewards participants for holding various “ninja” poses could help children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) improve their balance, according to a recent study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Balance challenges are more common among people with ASD compared to the broader population, says study lead author Brittany Travers, and difficulties with balance and postural stability are commonly thought to relate to more severe ASD symptoms and impaired activities in daily living.

“We think this video game-based training could be a unique way to help individuals with ASD who have challenges with their balance address these issues,” says Travers, an investigator at UW-Madison’s Waisman Center and an assistant professor of kinesiology.

In this pilot study—the largest ever to look at the effects of balance training on individuals with ASD—29 participants between the ages of 7 and 17 with ASD completed a six-week training program playing a video game developed by the researchers.

By the end of the program, study participants showed significant improvements in not only their in-game poses but also their balance and posture outside of the game environment.

According to Travers, balance improvements outside the video game context are especially important. “Our participants are incredibly clever when it comes to finding ways to beat video games!” she says. “We wanted to make sure that the improvements we were seeing were truly balance-related and not limited to the video game.”

Ten out of 11 study participants who completed a post-game questionnaire also said they enjoyed playing the video games.

“We always aim to make the interventions fun,” says Travers. “We have couched a rigorous exercise (by the end of some gaming sessions, participants had been standing on one foot for 30 minutes) in a video game format, so we were delighted to hear that the participants enjoyed the game.”

Travers developed the video game with help from Andrea Mason, professor of kinesiology at UW-Madison, Leigh Ann Mrotek, professor of kinesiology at UW-Oshkosh and Anthony Ellertson, program director of gaming and interactive technology at Boise State University.

The gaming system uses a Microsoft Kinect camera and a Nintendo Wii balance board connected to software developed on a Windows platform using Adobe Air.

“Players see themselves on the screen doing different ‘ninja’ poses and postures, and they are rewarded for doing those poses and postures; that’s how they advance in the game,” says Travers.

The study also explored individual differences that might predict who would benefit most from this type of video game-based balance training.

For example, the study showed that participants with some characteristics, such as ritualistic behaviors (like the need to follow a set routine around mealtimes or bedtime) did not benefit as much from the video game as those without these behaviors.

On the other hand, some characteristics, such as body mass index or IQ, did not influence whether a participant benefited from balance training.

“There is a lot of variability in the clinical profile of ASD, and it’s unlikely that there will be a one-size-fits-all approach for balance training that helps all individuals with ASD,” says Travers.

Researchers are working to make the game more accessible to different individuals within the autism spectrum. “We already have some features that help—the game has very little verbal instruction, which should make it more accessible to individuals who are minimally verbal,” says Travers. “Ultimately, we would like to move this video game-based training outside the lab.”


Explore further:
Genre may impact cognitive training using video games

More information:
Brittany G. Travers et al. Biofeedback-Based, Videogame Balance Training in Autism, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10803-017-3310-2

Journal reference:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Provided by:
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles