With advancements in today’s technology, traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims may have a new treatment intervention, virtual reality (VR). Can the latest video game technology really be used to help people recover from injuries/diseases? Yes, VR has already been used as an assessment tool or an intervention tool. By tracking bodily and eye movements VR has been able to detect visual-vestibular deficits in those with mild TBI. Simulations of everyday tasks can be given and a person’s posture and movements are then tracked and analyzed. VR has even been used to identify cognitive abnormalities in concussion patients without symptoms. Aside from purely assessments, VR has been utilized in improving executive functioning, attention, and information processing in TBI patients. Deficits in balancing have also been treated using virtual reality!
There are some issues concerning the future of VR therapy including the accessibility and ease of use. As of right now, VR technology is fairly easy to get, but can be quite costly for high end models. Luckily, as time goes on the prices will drop. Issues regarding how difficult VR therapy may be for elderly patients has also come up. With little experience and knowledge about VR, it may take more training before elderly patients can properly utilize this technology. Even with these concerns, VR therapy has tremendous potential for rehabilitation in TBI patients and many more medical circumstances!
Frontiers in neurology, 2018; 9, 345.
Zanier, E. R., Zoerle, T., Di Lernia, D., & Riva, G. (2018). virtual reality for traumatic Brain injury. Frontiers in neurology, 9, 345.