In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of virtual reality (VR) technology in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that VR is associated with improved gait (walking) and balance in these patients.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common brain disease that affects brain cells. These cells are responsible for body function. Therefore, when they lose their abilities, it causes symptoms such as impaired gait and balance. In general, PD affects 0.13 to 1.6% of people under 60 years of age and 9% of people older than 60.
The standard treatment is levodopa. However, long-term use of levodopa is associated with negative side effects. Prior studies suggested that long-term rehabilitation training can improve movement and mental outcomes.
VR provides a possibility to improve the seeing, hearing and touching abilities of the patients. VR is a computer-made image that seems real that can be interacted with by a person using special electronic equipment. It has been suggested that VR can improve balance and daily life activities in patients with PD. However, only a small number of studies with a limited number of participants are available.
Methods & findings
This study reviewed information from 16 studies. It included overall 555 patients with PD. Patients received either VR therapy or conventional rehabilitation therapy.
VR therapy performed better than standard therapy in balance, movement and step and stride length. VR also improved quality of life, level of confidence and mental symptoms. During treatment 4 patients had mild dizziness and one developed severe dizziness and vomiting.
The bottom line
This study concluded that VR helps in treating gait and balance problems in patients with Parkinson's disease.
The fine print
This study was based on medical records. Some information might have been incomplete. This might affect the results.
Published By :
Nov 08, 2019
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