Wii Fit helps diagnose Parkinson's disease in mum

A UK mother-of-two had no idea she had Parkinson’s disease until she stepped onto the Wii Fit balance board as a bit of a laugh.

“I was playing on the game with friends and we were all having a laugh and carrying on.

“I was doing brilliantly on all the games, I was a great skier and snowboarder and it told me my Wii fit age was 13 years younger than I am.

“But when it came to stepping on to the balance game it was showing on the screen that I was leaning on my left foot more heavily than the other.

[img_big]center,6168,2010-11-20/37194_Wii_Fit_slalom.jpg,Slalom – Wii Fit style![/img_big]

54-year-old Julie Wilks explains that the “huge footprint” onscreen stuck in her mind. The more she thought about it, the more she recognised day-to-day traits that were actually neurological symptoms – and they were getting worse.

“In the beginning the symptoms that I had were so subtle that I adapted myself without realising. I am left-handed but started texting on my phone and using the computer mouse with my right.”

“I’m so grateful that I was playing the game that day and that it ended up in my diagnosis. What an amazing piece of technology.”

[img_mid]center,6168,2010-11-20/40541_Wii_Fit_Centre_of_Gravity.jpg,Julie’s centre of gravity was heavily to the left[/img_mid]

She went to her local doctor, who referred her to a neurologist for tests. When the results came back positive, Julie’s life “changed forever” – just six months after playing the game. Today, she is “grateful” for the game, describing it as an “amazing piece of technology”.

The former lab technician has set up a website to help others who are suffering from the disease, and the adventurous mum is determined to live life to the full. For Julie, that means making a pilgrimage to Route 66. She had to sell her motorbike and can no longer ride safely, but has vowed to get there one way or another, even though it “won’t quite be the same”.

This is the second time in a week that Nintendo has popped up in the British health headlines. Earlier, a Welsh housewife nicknamed “Fatty Bum Bum Nana” lost nearly 50lb through the Wii Fit exercise program.

Source: The Sun

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