Tag Archives: occupational therapy

Virtual reality reduces phantom pain in paraplegics (incl. video)

“Virtual reality reduces phantom body pain in paraplegics and creates the illusion that they can feel their paralyzed legs being touched again.

The results could one day translate into therapies to reduce chronic pain in paraplegics.

In breakthrough research led by neuroscientist Olaf Blanke and his team at EPFL, Switzerland, the scientists show that phantom body pain can be reduced in paraplegics by creating a bodily illusion with the help of virtual reality. The results are published in Neurology.”


Image, text and video provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Read more: https://actu.epfl.ch/news/virtual-reality-reduces-phantom-pain-in-paraplegic/

Can virtual reality neurofeedback help stroke survivors recover?

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“A better treatment [for motor impairments following stroke] might lie inside a virtual reality headset, according to USC researcher Sook-Lei Liew, who was just awarded a $150,000 Innovative Research Grant from the American Heart Association to explore the possibility of using the immersive world of virtual reality to create a brain-computer interface for the treatment of stroke survivors.

To give stroke survivors the necessary visual feedback, Liew developed REINVENT — “Rehabilitation Environment Using the Integration of Neuromuscular-based Virtual Enhancements for Neural Training” — which uses virtual reality as well as brain and muscle sensors to show hand movement in the virtual world when the patient has used the correct brain and muscle signals even if the patient cannot move his or her hand in the real world.”

By John Hobbs at USC News

Photo/Courtesy of Sook-Lei Liew

Read more: https://news.usc.edu/91323/can-virtual-reality-neurofeedback-help-stroke-survivors-recover/

AVATAR TEACHES SOCIAL WORKERS HOW TO TALK WITH IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETS – Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo (video)

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“Lieutenant Rocco’s recently returned from deployment in Iraq and he’s having trouble acclimating. He sits near the edge of a sofa in his social worker’s office, still dressed in fatigues, and sporting a buzz cut. Even though he says he’s okay, he admits to getting flack from his boss about his lack of productivity and that he’s arguing with his wife. “There are things I don’t want to talk about with her. Things I can’t get out of my head,” he says.

The more you listen in on Lieutenant Rocco’s session, the easier it becomes to forget the slightly odd cadences of his speech and the blocky outlines of his clothing which point out that the Lieutenant isn’t a real person. He’s a digital avatar designed to be a training tool as part of University of Southern California School of Social Work’s curriculum for the Master of Social Work degree with a Sub-concentration in Military Social Work. A virtual patient like Lieutenant Rocco teaches prospective counselors how to deal with soldiers returning from duty where they may have witnessed life-altering atrocities.”

BY LYDIA DISHMAN at Fast Company

Images/video courtesy USC Institute for Creative Technologies

Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/1648674/avatar-teaches-social-workers-how-talk-iraq-and-afghanistan-vets

More info: USC Institute for Creative Technologies Medical Virtual Reality Lab – Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo
http://medvr.ict.usc.edu/projects/