“Phobias, those extreme or irrational fears people have of maybe heights, or spiders, can make normal life difficult for many sufferers.
But in Mexico, one student engineer has come up with an innovative way to treat patients’ conditions, using Virtual Reality (VR) technology to gradually expose them to their fears.
The VR technology reflects the reality that a patient is afraid of.
Fear of the dark is treated by gradually fading light within the headset, while patients with a fear of heights experience the simulation of gradually ascending from a virtual ground level.”
By Alasdair Baverstock, CGTN America
Read more: https://america.cgtn.com/2018/01/25/virtual-reality-therapy-provides-medical-treatment-alternative
“For kids with sensory challenges like autism, everyday experiences like popping down to the supermarket, crossing the road or swimming in the sea can be absolutely terrifying.
But one Christchurch school has introduced something to try and bridge this gap.
With help from electronics giant Samsung, Allenvale School got hold of some virtual reality goggles.
And they’re proving a much needed portal for 10-year-old Kingston Friggin to enjoy school, where he once hated it.”
By Seven Sharp at TV New Zealand
Read more: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/virtual-reality-technology-helping-kids-sensory-challenges-like-autism-v1
“UCLA researchers are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens in the brain when people create memories.
At UCLA, Nanthia Suthana is one of the first neuroscientists in the world to harness the power of VR to unravel how someone’s brain encodes and retrieves memories while the person explores a new virtual setting on foot.
“Without our memories, each of us would be lost in time and cut off from other people,” said Suthana, an assistant professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “At UCLA, we are the first to blend virtual reality with a surgically implanted prosthesis to reveal what happens inside the brain when we create memories.”
Thanks to her curiosity about how memories define us, Suthana’s advances in virtual reality have opened the door into an entirely new realm of brain research.”
By Elaine Schmidt at UCLA Newsroom
Read more: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/neuroscientist-harnesses-the-power-of-virtual-reality-to-unlock-the-mysteries-of-memory
“Clinical psychologist Corrie Ackland, who specialises in phobias, is developing a new and potentially highly effective treatment. Her team is turning to virtual reality to conquer phobias.
Through a VR headset, phobia sufferers can be gradually exposed to environments that give them anxiety, from needle injections to dentists, snakes and spiders.”
By Yahoo Australian News Sunday Night
Read more: https://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/a/36237239/new-virtual-reality-therapy-helping-victims-of-phobias-conquer-their-fears/#page1
“An immersive virtual reality room that helps children with autism overcome their phobias is now being offered on the NHS.
In 2014, scientists at Newcastle University found that virtual reality can help youngsters with autism spectrum disorder overcome their serious fears.
Now, the first NHS patients have been referred for treatment in what is known as the Newcastle Blue Room.”
By Katie Dickinson at Chronicle Live
“Virtual reality could be used to diagnose and treat visual vertigo, according to a team of Cardiff University psychologists.
People with the condition suffer from dizziness and nausea and often cite places with repetitive visual patterns, such as supermarkets, as the trigger.
A team of psychologists is working to develop virtual environments to help with diagnosis and rehabilitation.”
By Max Evans at BBC News
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-38715719
“Virtual reality is proving to be a viable solution to easing the social anxiety teens with ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome encounter daily.
These teens go through tremendous difficulty developing the social skills to interact with peers and adults in what most consider normal social situations.
The Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas has been successfully improving these teens social anxiety via VR sessions, helping them to make friends and communicate openly.”
Blog by Raphael Konforti at VR Fitness Insider
News report by NBC News Today
Read more: http://www.vrfitnessinsider.com/vr-helps-teens-social-anxiety/
“Veterans and active duty military members are using virtual reality to relive the worst moments of their life in an innovative counseling program being offered for free at the University of Central Florida’s PTSD Clinic.
“It’s a very intense program but the advantage is that we can really take care of this disorder and treat this disorder thoroughly and effectively in a short period of time,” said Dr. Deborah Beidel, the founder of UCF Restores, a program that uses a combination of counseling and exposure therapy to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Iraq War veteran Bruce Chambers was one of the first patients to go through the therapy.”
By Dana Jay at WOFL FOX 35
Read more: http://www.fox35orlando.com/news/local-news/217037965-story
“Scenarios involving spiders – so many spiders, crawling all over you – heights, public transport and crowds are being tested or are already available to download and use … at Australia’s first specialist, virtual-reality phobia treatment clinic, which recently opened in Sydney.
Meanwhile a large number of research groups are investigating potential uses for the new technology.
A London-based project for example is exploring using train-station simulations to treat social anxiety. The simulated patrons can even be programmed to turn and stare at the user – helpful for treating paranoia.”
By Liam Mannix at The Sydney Morning Herald
Image: Ignis VR
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/clinic-makes-real-life-less-scary-by-letting-you-face-fears-in-virtual-reality-20161107-gsjrj3.html
“At USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies Albert “Skip” Rizzo and his team are using virtual reality — a technology in the midst of booming growth — to help combat veterans fully process and recover from PTSD.
In Rizzo’s “Bravemind” program, patients revisit painful memories in a VR setting, under the care of a trained therapist. This sense memory allows them to access the memory clearly and, in doing so, to fully process it.
It’s a revolutionary type of exposure therapy that has so far netted promising results.”
BY STEVE BRAMUCCI at Uproxx.com
Read more: http://uproxx.com/life/bravemind-virtual-reality/