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Video Poker machine for Parkinson’s Patients

Video Poker machine for Parkinson’s Patients

Las Vegas health facility excited the media with the news of installing a video poker machine in HealthSouth Rehabilitation Center. Nevertheless, this machine will not work as any standard casino which you can play when you want or put a sport bet on weekend.

As the management of the hospital informed, the machine will not be used for the entertainment of the employees or the staff, but to treat motor-neuron patients.

Video Poker machine

Nevertheless, the journalist began writing that Las Vegas now offers gambling entertainments everywhere, even in hospitals.

Sarah Tempest, a speech pathologist from HealthSouth Hospital, told Fox New that two machines installed in the center would not be used for entertainment or gambling, but for some other purposes.

“The fact is that gambling tends to stimulate the prefrontal cortex, a critical part of the human brain that is likely to be damaged when stimulated and may lead to traumatic brain injury,” Sarah explained. She agreed that the exposure to gambling should be limited to avoid brain damage.

Ms Tempest also told about other medical facilities of using the machine. “By bringing the machines inside our premises we are trying to help improve the poker games, executive –functioning skills of those players or patients who for now are unable to focus properly. We will finally achieve to better their brain condition because we focus on mental flexibility, attention, working memory, and self-regulation.”

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Creative Solution

This creative solution of HealthSouth Hospital to help motor-neuron patients is widely discussed by many people, but there is a different expert opinion of a section of health stakeholders.

People agree that video poker experience may help in the betterment of prefrontal cortex lobes directing to the brain’s ability to stimulate coherent movements; the reason to be cautious of exposing the patients to poker experience exists.

Dr Keith Ablow is a stakeholder that is against such creative experiments of using video poker machines. Dr Ablow states that the interactive elements can work as a traditional therapy, but video poker is not the case now. He worries that exposure to video games can result in gambling addiction.

“I feel that if clinicians have decided to pursue this ‘gaming’ path, it would be prudent for them to inform their patients because there is a likelihood of causing impulse control complications,” Dr. Ablow told.

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