This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Though there are too many terrible diseases in the world, one of the worst is Huntington’s disease. It is a purely genetic disease that has no cure, prevention options, or treatments. It is progressive and impacts mobility, mental health, and cognitive functioning, slowly eroding a person’s autonomy and ability to function normally.
Because this is such a terrible condition, there is considerable research on finding ways to treat the symptoms and extend the patients’ quality of life. One of those options might be video games. Video games offer fun opportunities to improve mobility and train one’s brain. As a result, they may help Huntington’s disease patients with issues experienced with mobility, cognition, and mental health. In this article, you will learn more about this disease and how video games may be able to help.
Huntington’s disease is a rare genetic condition that progressively breaks down the nerve cells of the brain. It affects all areas of brain development, impacting memory, cognitive function, mobility, and mental health. Though there are strategies to help manage the symptoms, there are no cures or prevention options for people with this condition. If Huntington’s disease is part of a person’s family, there is a good chance that they will develop it too.
People with this condition can develop it at any point but are typically diagnosed in their 30s and 40s. Since it is a progressive disease, initial symptoms may be minor but will significantly worsen over time. Eventually, the person will struggle to do even basic tasks on their own and experience significant failings in their mobility and cognition.
For more general information on Huntington’s Disease, you continue reading by exploring the resources found here. Now, let’s move on to some ways that video games may be able to help people with this disease.
As mentioned before, there is currently no cure for Huntington’s disease. However, there is still enormous research being conducted into various ways to slow the spread of the disease and increase the overall quality of life for the patients. Video games are emerging as a potential option to ease or even improve symptoms. The below sections will explain how they help.
You probably wouldn’t expect video games to help people with mobility, but the truth is that some video games may do just that. Some studies show that playing games that require movement (such as Dance Dance Revolution, Wii games, or Xbox Kinect) may help improve balance and mobility issues. If this is the case, then this can allow people with Huntington’s disease to keep their mobility and independence for much longer so they can keep their autonomy.
Video games are far from mindless distractions. In fact, many games can help with learning, cognition, memory, and brain development. This is because many games involve puzzles or challenges that require critical thinking and problem solving skills. Therefore, gamers need to use their brainpower and cognition in order to progress in the game. This is an incredibly important benefit for people with Huntington’s disease as keeping the brain active may help people with this condition slow its spread.
Video games can also offer people with Huntington’s disease a better quality of life. That’s because gaming is simply just good fun. The video game industry is enormous, showing that almost everyone enjoys winding down with a fun gaming session.
As people with this condition progress into later stages of the disease, it is incredibly important to care for their happiness and mental health. Video games offer an easy dose of fun that can boost their well-being in these later stages.
Huntington’s disease is a heartbreaking condition that currently cannot be prevented or cured. Therefore, considerable research is being conducted to slow its spread and improve the patients’ quality of life. Some research indicates that playing video games may help patients with their mobility, cognitive functioning, and mental well-being. So if you or someone you know has or is at risk of developing this condition, playing video games may be able to help ease the symptoms and slow the disease.