More Evidence That Video Game Therapies Can Treat TBI After POKÉMON GO Brings Veteran's Memory To Light

Since 2009 the government has shown varied levels of interest into the research of video game therapy for veterans suffering from TBI. A veteran now brings more evidence to light on the subject with his case!

Zach Brooks was a 32 year old intelligence officer for the North Carolina Army National Guard. Like many of his fellow soldiers, he was deployed to Kuwait in 2016. However, during his deployment Brooks suffered from brain damage during an accident.

Brooks was T-boned while on his way back to base in Kuwait. Being hit by a bus caused his lungs to collapse and the veins in his skull to burst, bleeding into his brain and causing his traumatic brain injury. Then suffering from a massive stroke, Brooks was stricken of both memory as well as motor functions.

Afterwards Brooks was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where the amnesia stuck with him, leaving Zach unable to remember who he was or even how to complete simple daily tasks. This forced Zach to take measures into his own hands, using Niantic's popular mobile game Pokémon Go to help regain his memory and brain function, playing the game from his hospital bed. Why did he choose Pokémon Go?

"I pretty much had to look at things and say, 'Okay brain, you can't do this anymore, but you can find a new way'. The main things in regrowing brain tissue [are] reading, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving. Games have all of these. [Playing Pokémon Go is] like Intel. You have to look at [your] assets, look at your opponent's assests, determine your opponents main course of action, then execute." - Retired Army National Guard Captain Zach Brooks

Zach isn't a one time thing. In the past 18 years over 380,000 troops have also been diagnosed with TBI. The Veterans Administration as well as the Pentagon have both been investing in research for diagnosis and treatment. The Army awared upwards of $4 million in contracts to small businesses to research and develop potential video game therapies for TBI between the years of 2009 and 2015.

Zach is happy to be able to spend time with his family, but is still limited to what he is able to do, and having to retire as a Captain from the army. His wife also quit to help take care of him with his long term stroke effects, but he continues to work with Pokémon and other video game therapies to keep himself in the best shape possible. He hopes to one day also be a physical trainer so that he can shape real bodies in addition to those digital pocket monsters that he loves so much.

Get ready for an all-new Pokémon experience Pokémon Go opens a universe of Pokemon to find, catch, trade, and battle on your iPhone or Android device. With Pokémon Go, you'll discover Pokémon  in a whole new world - your own!

Pokémon GO is currently available for Android and iOS devices.
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