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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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