Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Virtual reality hands' may help stroke survivors recover hand function

Date:
November 17, 2013
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
“Virtual reality hands” — controlled by stroke survivors’ thoughts — could help them recover use of their hands and arms.

"Virtual reality hands" -- controlled by stroke survivors' thoughts -- could help them recover use of their hands and arms, according to a small study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

"Using a brain-computer interface, we've created an environment where people who may be too physically impaired to move can practice mental imagery to help regain use of their arms and hands," said Alexander Doud, M.S., lead author.

Brain-computer interface technology can help tell if patients are activating regions of their brains in ways that have been linked to better recovery.

"During rehabilitation, usually a therapist will move the patient's hand or arm in the desired direction while asking that patient to imagine they are making the movement," said Doud, who was a Masters student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis when the study was conducted. "In this practice space, the patients can control photorealistic hands by thinking about using their own hands without actually moving at all."

The researchers tested the virtual system on six stroke survivors who suffered impaired arm and hand movement. The patients viewed the stimulus using 3-D glasses to produce the illusion that they were seeing their own arms.

Patients achieved as high as 81 percent accuracy when using the virtual hands to reach out to a glass of tea or water. They improved their skills in as little as three, two-hour experimental sessions.

"The system is created in a way that could allow it to be used to practice a wide variety of desired activities, such as picking up a toothbrush or opening a jar, with very little additional work to set up the system," Doud said. "This can make it even more patient specific and that leads to patient motivation."

Because of the study's small sample size, results need to be replicated in a larger, more diverse population of stroke patients, Doud said.

The study does, however, prove the feasibility of this new approach that could also become an affordable rehabilitation tool.

"This is an engaging system that encourages patients to practice using the areas of their brain that may have been damaged or weakened by their stroke, and the technology could be used along with commonly provided rehabilitation therapy for stroke," Doud said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "'Virtual reality hands' may help stroke survivors recover hand function." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131117155458.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2013, November 17). 'Virtual reality hands' may help stroke survivors recover hand function. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131117155458.htm
American Heart Association. "'Virtual reality hands' may help stroke survivors recover hand function." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131117155458.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Google Patents Contact Lens Cameras; Internet Is Wary

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos. The company describes possible benefits to blind people. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

The Walking, Talking Oil-Drigging Rig

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 15, 2014) Pennsylvania-based Schramm is incorporating modern technology in its next generation oil-drigging rigs, making them smaller, safer and smarter. Ernest Scheyder reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Dutch Highway Introduces Glow-In-The-Dark Paint

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) A Dutch highway has become the first lit by glow-in-the-dark paint — a project aimed at reducing street light use. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Google Buys Drone Maker, Hopes to Connect Rural World

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Formerly courted by Facebook, Titan Aerospace will become a part of Google's quest to blanket the world in Internet connectivity. 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