Virtual reality offers benefits for Parkinson's disease patients

ScienceDaily | 4/9/2019 | Staff
TimHyuga (Posted by) Level 3
For many people with Parkinson's disease, the simple act of walking through the house or neighborhood can be a treacherous undertaking. The muscle and movement problems caused by the disease decrease a person's range of motion and impair balance, often leading to falls and injuries.

To help patients manage these challenges, researchers created a virtual reality training system that gives patients a safe space to hone their muscle control and balance. Patients walk on a treadmill while stepping over virtual objects that appear before them. If they are successful in one round, the objects become larger in the next round.

Advantage - Obstacles - Terrains - Environment - Equipment

"The primary advantage is that they can encounter multiple obstacles and terrains while a safe environment is maintained using equipment such as a fall restraint tether," said K. Bo Foreman, PT, PhD, associate professor and director of the Motion Capture Core Facility at the University of Utah. "Participants enjoyed the experience and thought it was fun, not just exercise. They liked training and challenging themselves without the fear of falling."

Foreman will present the research at the American Association of Anatomists annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting, held April 6-9 in Orlando, Fla.

Researchers - Training - System - Patients - Parkinson

The researchers tested their training system in 10 patients with Parkinson's disease who used it for three 30-minute sessions a week for six weeks. After the program, participants showed significant improvements in their...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
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