Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parkinson's disease patients may benefit from virtual-reality-based therapies

Date:
July 12, 2011
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
In people with Parkinson's disease (PD), the inability to make quick movements limits basic functioning in daily life. Movement can be improved by various cuing techniques, such as providing visual or auditory stimuli when movements are started. Researchers now report that virtual reality and physical reality exercises can be used to provide effective stimuli to increase movement speeds in PD patients.

In people with Parkinson's Disease (PD), the inability to make quick movements limits basic functioning in daily life. Movement can be improved by various cueing techniques, such as providing visual or auditory stimuli when movements are started. In a study scheduled for publication in the August issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, researchers report that virtual reality (VR) and physical reality exercises can be used to provide effective stimuli to increase movement speeds in PD patients.

Investigators from the Departments of Occupational Therapy, Neurology, and Mechanical Engineering, the Institute of Education, and Allied Health Sciences, the National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, studied a group of 13 women and 16 men with PD who were age-matched against 14 women and 11 men without PD. Each participant was asked to reach for and grasp a stationary ball as quickly as possible. Then, moving balls were rolled down a ramp and the participants were asked to catch them when they reached a particular point on the ramp. When trying to catch the moving balls, the targets were visible for periods from 1.1 to 0.5 seconds. These trials were done in both normal physical reality and in a virtual reality environment.

"This study contributes to the field of rehabilitation by providing evidence about how to manipulate task and environmental constraints to improve movement in persons with PD," commented lead investigator Hui-Ing Ma. "Specifically, this study shows how to manipulate VR scenarios to improve movement speed in persons with PD, while at the same time depicting their movement characteristics in VR. Our study extends the previous findings of the moving target effect in physical reality to VR. Our findings suggest that with an appropriate choice of cueing speed, VR is a promising tool for offering visual motion stimuli to increase movement speed in persons with PD."

The authors highlight three main findings. First, in both VR and physical reality, the PD group had longer movement time and lower peak velocity than the control group when reaching for a stationary ball at a self-determined maximum speed. Second, for both VR and physical reality, movement time was significantly shorter and peak velocity was higher in the faster cueing conditions. Third, when moving targets were provided, the PD group showed more improvement than the control group in movement time and peak velocity, thus reaching a performance level similar to that of the control group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ching-Yi Wang, MS, OT, Wen-Juh Hwang, MD, Jing-Jing Fang, PhD, Ching-Fan Sheu, PhD, Iat-Fai Leong, PhD, and Hui-Ing Ma, ScD, OT. Comparison of Virtual Reality Versus Physical Reality on Movement Characteristics of Persons With Parkinson's Disease: Effects of Moving Targets. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 92, Issue 8 (August 2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.03.014

Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "Parkinson's disease patients may benefit from virtual-reality-based therapies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104928.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2011, July 12). Parkinson's disease patients may benefit from virtual-reality-based therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104928.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "Parkinson's disease patients may benefit from virtual-reality-based therapies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110711104928.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) Video provided by AP
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