If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Can Wii slow Parkinson's disease?

Doctor gets funding to find out.

Not all videogames are bad and violence inducing - some can alleviate symptoms of one of the world's worst diseases: Parkinson's.

A British doctor has been awarded £35,000 to research the benefits that playing Wii can have for people with Parkinson's. Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, who was reported to have been paid half a million quid by Nintendo to advertise Wii Fit, is interested to see how the research turns out - she has a close friend with Parkinson's.

The Wii helps Parkinson's sufferers by physically and mentally challenging them - a process that can slow the degradation of nerve cells.

"Keeping moving is really important because of the stiffness. By doing the Wii I find that you loosen up the muscles that are constantly spasming," said Karen Rose, a lady who suffers from Parkinson's. She's been chosen to appear in Nintendo's real story TV adverts.

"Most people with Parkinson's find that they lose their confidence. So I tend to do exercise at home. I've got all the benefits of a gym, but I can do it to fit in with my lifestyle and my medication. It gives you a burst somehow, and it makes you feel better, and then you have a better day."

Dr Cathy Craig, the woman in charge of the research, added: "Our hope is to harness the benefits of the Wii technology to develop a system designed specifically for people with Parkinson's.

"If the project is successful the benefits could be twofold. It could allow us to develop a simple way to assess Parkinson's symptoms yet provide a safe and effective way for people with the condition to be more active and keep fit."

Presumably Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move could help people with Parkinson's as well.

Topics in this article

Follow topics and we'll email you when we publish something new about them.  Manage your notification settings .

About the Author
Robert Purchese avatar

Robert Purchese

Associate Editor

Bertie is a synonym for Eurogamer. Writes, podcasts, looks after the Supporter Programme. Talks a lot.

Eurogamer.net logo

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Explore our store
Eurogamer.net Merch