Thursday, June 11, 2015

Too soon for certainty, but a potential way to recover stroke patients' limbs

Photo from Belén Rubio Ballester
Appears to be good news, with a large grain of salt.

I've seen several references how the use of virtual reality technology could help stroke patients recover the use of a limb. The idea is to have the limb represented on a computer screen, performing better than it performs in real life, which then makes the limb's functions improved in real life.

The grain of salt: It's from a study of just 20 people. Worth more research, but still a "maybe" at this stage.

You can read more through this link to a story about virtual reality and stroke patients:
In the study of 20 stroke patients, researchers sometimes enhanced the virtual representation of the patient's affected limb, making it seem faster and more accurate, but without the patient's knowledge.
After the episodes in which the limbs were made to seem more effective, the patients then went on to use them more, according to lead researcher Belen Rubio.
"Surprisingly, only 10 minutes of enhancement was enough to induce significant changes in the amount of spontaneous use of the affected limb," said Mrs Rubio from the Laboratory of Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems at Pompeu Fabra University in Spain.

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