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Researchers attempt to use video games to improve visual impairment

Researches at the University of Lincoln in the UK are currently attempting to improve the eyesight of visually impaired children through a rehabilitation game, Medical Xpress reports.

The project has been awarded a grant of approximately £130,000, and researchers will work with participants from WESC, a specialist center for visual impairment. According to project lead and professor of cognitive neuroscience Timothy Hodgson, typical visual training programs are simply "too boring to use with children."

"Our game will be a fun computer based tool which will benefit children with visual field loss — holes in their vision due to damage to the brain's visual pathways," Hodgson said. "This is an exciting research project which brings together expertise from diverse disciplines and puts this knowledge into practice in a way that could make a real difference to the quality of life of visually impaired children. At the same time, we also expect the game will be suitable for rehabilitation of adults who have suffered sight loss due to stroke."

Video games are becoming a more frequent source of treatment in various health problems. Polygon recently reported on the use of Tetris to treat lazy eye conditions. The Kinect is sometimes used to help patients recover mobility or improve motor skills after suffering a stroke. Insurance and health care providers have even begun using games as a way to promote healthy living.

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