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Effectiveness and safety of Nintendo Wii Fit PlusTM training in children with migraine without aura: a preliminary study

Authors Esposito M, Ruberto M, Gimigliano F, Marotta R, Gallai B, Parisi L, Lavano SM, Roccella M, Carotenuto M

Received 1 September 2013

Accepted for publication 7 October 2013

Published 15 November 2013 Volume 2013:9 Pages 1803—1810

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S53853

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6


Maria Esposito,1 Maria Ruberto,2 Francesca Gimigliano,1,2 Rosa Marotta,3 Beatrice Gallai,4 Lucia Parisi,5 Serena Marianna Lavano,3 Michele Roccella,5 Marco Carotenuto1

1Center for Childhood Headache, Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry Clinic, Department of Mental Health, Physical and Preventive Medicine, 2Department of Odonto-Stomathologic Disciplines, Pathology – Orthopedic Sciences, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy; 3Department of Psychiatry, “Magna Graecia” University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy; 4Unit of Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy; 5Child Neuropsychiatry, Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Background: Migraine without aura (MoA) is a painful syndrome, particularly in childhood; it is often accompanied by severe impairments, including emotional dysfunction, absenteeism from school, and poor academic performance, as well as issues relating to poor cognitive function, sleep habits, and motor coordination.
Materials and methods: The study population consisted of 71 patients affected by MoA (32 females, 39 males) (mean age: 9.13±1.94 years); the control group consisted of 93 normally developing children (44 females, 49 males) (mean age: 8.97±2.03 years) recruited in the Campania school region. The entire population underwent a clinical evaluation to assess total intelligence quotient level, visual-motor integration (VMI) skills, and motor coordination performance, the later using the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC). Children underwent training using the Wii-balance board and Nintendo Wii Fit Plus™ software (Nintendo Co, Ltd, Kyoto, Japan); training lasted for 12 weeks and consisted of three 30-minute sessions per week at their home.
Results: The two starting populations (MoA and controls) were not significantly different for age (P=0.899) and sex (P=0.611). M-ABC and VMI performances at baseline (T0) were significantly different in dexterity, balance, and total score for M-ABC (P<0.001) and visual (P=0.003) and motor (P<0.001) tasks for VMI. After 3 months of Wii training (T1), MoA children showed a significant improvement in M-ABC global performance (P<0.001), M-ABC dexterity (P<0.001), M-ABC balance (P<0.001), and VMI motor task (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Our study reported the positive effects of the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus™ system as a rehabilitative device for the visuomotor and balance skills impairments among children affected by MoA, even if further research and longer follow-up are needed.

Keywords: childhood rehabilitation, pediatric migraine, migraine without aura, Nintendo Wii Fit PlusTM

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