Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stroke recovery goes 3-D: Canadian video game takes rehab to the next level

Date:
June 21, 2010
Source:
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Summary:
Montreal researchers' innovative use of virtual reality to tap into the power of brain plasticity is emerging as a major technique in brain recovery for stroke patients.

An innovative use of virtual reality is emerging as a major technique in brain recovery for stroke patients, Dr. Mindy Levin told the Canadian Stroke Congress.

"Our brains have an extraordinary plasticity which can limit the damage caused by some types of stroke," says Dr. Mindy Levin, professor in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University. "Together with Dr. Heidi Sviestrup from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, our rehab program taps into the power of plasticity to gain the best recovery of movement of the arm by increasing a patients' motivation to continue with the long repetitive training tasks needed to restructure their brains."

Her team's interactive virtual reality training program boosts patients' confidence and increases the success of arm and hand rehabilitation by having them practice movements as part of a video game.

This enriched environment stimulates the brain to make the fullest use of its ability to re-organize and restructure itself after a stroke.

"Relearning and improving movements affected by brain injuries is an intense process that requires hard work and motivation," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "Research into how to best engage and motivate patients is vital for stroke recovery."

Sixty patients in Montreal and Ottawa are participating in the clinical trial funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation to establish the optimum conditions for stroke recovery.

There are many different types of virtual reality systems on the market. We are trying to discover which aspects of the virtual reality experience are of the most importance to rehabilitation. Patients in the study fall into one of four groups, explains Dr. Levin. Group 1 is treated with a fully immersive and interactive 3D virtual reality system; Group 2 interacts with a more economical 2D game system; Groups 3 and 4 practice similar games in different physical environments.

"The training program uses kinematics, which measures how well a movement is made," explains Dr. Levin. "It allows us to understand how recovery is happening."

Rehab patients play a reaching and catching game where they get a point for catching something with their hand. If they do it well, they get positive feedback from the game system and a higher score in the game. If they cheat, they don't get the point or any other form of reinforcement, says Dr. Levin.

"These techniques help patients work harder and longer," she says. "They get out there and really sweat and that's what you need for recovery."

So which version produced the maximum amount of motivation?

Dr. Levin says the results are very preliminary but, so far, it looks as if the 3D virtual reality system has a slight edge on the competition. It may be that people feel more 'present' or engaged in this environment, much like reality-based interactive video games.

"Novel use of virtual reality has the potential to revolutionize forever the way we think about rehabilitation," says Canadian Stroke Network spokesperson Dr. Antoine Hakim. "Dr. Levin's research is showing that by motivating and involving the user, the recovery can be dramatic."

Dr. Levin's research was presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Canadian Stroke Consortium, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Stroke recovery goes 3-D: Canadian video game takes rehab to the next level." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165617.htm>.
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. (2010, June 21). Stroke recovery goes 3-D: Canadian video game takes rehab to the next level. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165617.htm
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. "Stroke recovery goes 3-D: Canadian video game takes rehab to the next level." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165617.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins