Tuesday, December 26, 2017 by Zoey Sky
Aside from enhancing a player’s immersion when it comes to video games, a study has recently determined that virtual reality (VR) can also be used to “improve arm and hand movement after a stroke.”
VR training is shown to be just as effective as regular therapy and study author Iris Brunner, Ph.D., of Aarhus University, Hammel Neurocenter in Denmark, said: “Virtual reality training may be a motivating alternative for people to use as a supplement to their standard therapy after a stroke.”
Brunner added that pending research could also be done to establish the possibility of VR therapy being used remotely by patients. Having this convenient option could mean that people no longer need to go to a medical center to receive standard therapy.
The study involved 120 participants with an average age of 62. Each individual had suffered a stroke on average at least one month before the study began and they all experienced mild to severe muscle weakness or impairment in their wrists, hands or upper arms.
All 120 participants underwent training sessions that lasted for at least four to five hours per week for four weeks. Before the study began, the participants’ arm and hand functioning were tested. Once the training concluded, it was tested once again.
Half of the participants received standard physical and occupational therapy while the rest received virtual reality training that was developed to improve rehabilitation. The VR training was designed to hone arm and hand functioning, and each participant used a screen and gloves with sensors to play several games that integrated arm, hand and finger movements. (Related: Virtual pain relief: Researchers believe video games can reprogram your brain, or at least distract you.)
Brunner explained that while the two groups showed remarkable improvement in their functioning, “there was no difference between the two groups in the results.” She added that based on the results, either type of training could be used and that it just depends on the patient’s preference.
Brunner concluded that the virtual reality system was not a totally immersive experience. She posited that for now, healthcare professionals can only hypothesize on whether “using virtual reality goggles or other techniques to create a more immersive experience would increase the effect of the training.” However, virtual reality training remains a safer option, unlike those that could eventually have negative side effects on individuals who have had a stroke.
If you would like try some natural treatments to minimize your risk factors for stroke, try consuming more of the foods listed below:
Brain exercise is a primary factor in regaining movement after a stroke, and the following activities can help you relax and reduce tension in both the mind and body:
You can learn more about virtual reality applications at VirtualReality.news.