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Asian J Kinesiol > Volume 19(1); 2017 > Article
The Official Journal of the Korean Academy of Kinesiology 2017;19(1):35-44.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.15758/jkak.2017.19.1.35    Published online January 30, 2017.
Effects of a Virtual Reality Exercise Program(Wii) on Cognitive Function of Elderly People with Alzheimer Dementia.
Geun-Ho Lee
Dankook University
Correspondence:  Geun-Ho Lee,
Email: dneuro@hotmail.com
Received: 9 December 2016   • Accepted: 21 January 2017
Abstract
PURPOSE
The purposes of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week virtual reality exercise program designed around the Nintendo Wii(Wii), in improving Alzheimer’s dementia patients’ memories.
METHODS
30 Alzheimer dementia patients were randomly assigned in to the experimental group(n=15) and control group(n=15). All subjects performed a routine cognitive therapy and, besides, experimental group performed three 40-minute Wii-exercise intervention sessions per week, for 12 weeks. Before and after the Wii intervention, subjects’ cognitive functions were evaluated using the Cognitive Assessment Reference Diagnosis System (CARDS) and Mini-Mental State Examination-Korea (MMSE-K) test. Statistical significance was tested within and between each group before and after treatment by Wilcoxon signed rank test and Mann-Whitney U test.
RESULTS
Among the CARDS scores of the subjects who received Wii-exercise, the scores of the delayed 10-word list, delayed 10-object list, recognition 10-object, and recent memory significantly increased after intervention compared to those before intervention(p<.01). In addition, among the MMSE-K items, the orientation, registration, and recall showed significant increases in the experimental group(p<.05). The control group saw no statistically significant change. There was a statistically significant CARDS and MMSE-K score differences after intervention between the groups(p<.05). 76.9% of experimental group responded positively when asked if they would like to continue using the Wii-game in the future.
CONCLUSIONS
These suggest that a virtual reality exercise program using the Wii-game, is effective in delaying memory deterioration and improving cognitive function of elderly people with Alzheimer dementia.
Keywords: dementia, virtual reality exposure therapy, nintendo-wii, cognitive function


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