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Virtual Reality can help train paraplegics to regain movement and walk again

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Breakthroughs in VR are allowing scientists to think differenlty about possible paraplegic treatments

  • Eight patients who were paralyzed from the waist down from spinal cord injuries were chosen to conduct the trials.
  • The patient was then trained to teach their brainwaves to walk as an avatar in a virtual environment, rather than themselves walking.
  • Bu analyzing the brain activity, the scientists discovered how to trick the patient's brain into actually believing that it was walking.

Recent breakthroughs in VR technology have allowed scientists to explore all kinds of unique applications for simulating reality (other than in games).

Virtual Reality can help train paraplegics to regain movement and walk again

Courtesy: Quartz.com

Eight patients who were paralyzed from the waist down from spinal cord injuries were chosen to conduct the trials.

Originally, the scientist were working on advanced robotic walking prosthetic project. While conducting tests, they discovered something unexpected: All the patients who prolonged their training  managed to regain some of the feeling and motor skills below their injury sites.

The process began by strapping the patient into an apparatus with a variety of sensors and inputs.

Two times a week, for approximate 1 hour per day, the patient was hooked up to an Oculus Rift headset.

Virtual Reality can help train paraplegics to regain movement and walk again

Courtesy: Quartz.com

The patient was then trained to teach their brainwaves to walk as an avatar in a virtual environment, rather than themselves walking.

Bu analyzing the brain activity, the scientists discovered how to trick the patient’s brain into actually believing that it was walking.

virtual-reality-helps-paraplegics-walk-again-physiotherapy_shareahack_004

Some patients were even able to regain some level of bladder control. For more information, please visit the source link or watch the video above.

 

 

 

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