Thursday 18 Sep 2014

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SimpleScience@Heart: Virtual therapy may help stroke survivors recover

Published: 8:00 am CDT, November 17, 2013

Virtual reality may one day help people recover from stroke.

In a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013, researchers tested a new brain-computer interface on six stroke survivors with impaired arm and hand movement. The patients reached out for a glass of tea or water with their “virtual hand” with as high as 81 percent accuracy.

Brain-computer interface technology can help tell if patients are activating parts of their brains in ways linked to better recovery, researchers said.

The system can be easily modified to simulate other everyday activities, such as picking up a toothbrush and opening a jar. If the system is set up specific for each patient, it can lead to greater motivation during recovery, researchers said.

 

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