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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
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