"Engineers at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark recently began a
five-year study of video games that can be applied to the treatment and rehabilitation of cerebral palsy
patients," according to NorthJersey.com.
A $4.75 million grant will fund the study, which will have patients use a specialized glove to control in-game movements (in a piano simulator, for instance), stimulating the brain through force-feedback to hopefully "rewire" the brain and help restore hand function.
This ultimate form of brain training has also been studied with rehabilitating stroke victims. The goal here is to make therapy more efficient by requiring less professional supervision (thereby reducing costs) and also to "make therapy more fun and engaging for the patient, which in turn could make treatment more effective." It's hard to find a more noble pursuit for games than this, so we certainly wish them well.
[Via 1UP; image taken from the Bobath Wales Therapy Centre]