Virtual Reality Games Aid in Stroke Rehabilitation


Credit: DCN, University of Basel

Virtual Reality Games Aid in Stroke Rehabilitation

Virtual reality games mayِ helpِ patients recover afterِ a stroke.
The results ofِ a newِ study show theseِ games canِ improve theِ patient’s arm strength.
Patients wereِ moreِ likelyِ to improve theirِ arm strength ifِ they played virtual reality games thanِ ifِ they received standard physical therapy, whichِ includes exercises suchِ asِ extending theِ elbow andِ flexing theِ wrists andِ thumbs, theِ study reported.

The study appears in the May issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Virtual world

A stroke occurs whenِ theِ blood supply toِ theِ brain isِ impaired.
Virtual reality games haveِ beenِ adapted toِ aid inِ stroke rehabilitation.
In theseِ games, patients interact withِ a virtual world.

Better than reality?

Virtual reality games activate differentِ parts ofِ the brain thanِ doِ standard therapies, Saposnik said.
This mayِ explain theِ greater improvement seenِ inِ patients whoِ played theِ games, heِ said.
The games alsoِ activate mirror neurons, orِ neurons thatِ fire whenِ a person observes someoneِ elseِ performing a particularِ movement.