VR Enables Brain Walk Through

Article originally published in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. By patching together MRI images of a human brain, Canadian technology company Sprockety has enabled a VR walk through of the brain. Why it’s relevant: Much easier to learn about the complex anatomy of the brain through a walk through rather than looking at 2D images. Implications for medical education.

VR Shows Efficacy in Parkinson’s Disease Rehab

By VR Medicine News–Researchers in Belgium, the UK, and Israel have evaluated the effectiveness of VR interventions for the rehabilitation of people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD), specifically with respect to gait and balance. A total of 8 trials involving 263 people with PD were included in the analysis. Interventions lasted from 4 to 8 weeks. Compared with physiotherapy, VR interventions appeared to moderately improve step and stride length whereas a similar effect between the two approaches was found on gate, balance and quality of life. No adverse events or effect on exercise adherence were reported with the use of VR. “Additional high-quality, large-scale studies are needed to confirm these findings,” the authors note.

Dockx K, Bekkers EM, Van den Bergh V, et al. Virtual reality for rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Dec 21;12:CD010760. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010760.pub2.

VR May Assist With Lower Limb Rehab in Cerebral Palsy

By VR Medicine News–Researchers from the MOVE Research Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and colleagues investigated whether VR training can help with lower limb balance rehabilitation in children aged 5-18 with cerebral palsy who have undergone orthopedic surgery. While the study included only 11 patients, the findings suggested that VR is feasible in this setting, although possibly not perceived as any more enjoyable than conventional physiotherapy.

Meyns P, Pans L, Plasmans K, Heyrman L, Desloovere K, Molenaers G. The Effect of Additional Virtual Reality Training on Balance in Children with Cerebral Palsy after Lower Limb Surgery: A Feasibility Study. Games Health J. 2017 Jan 4. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2016.0069.