In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of a virtual reality rehabilitation system (VRRS) to treat aphasia (language impairment) in patients with stroke. Researchers suggested that VRRS is a safe option of treatment for stroke survivors after their discharge.
A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is cut-off. The brain cells stop receiving oxygen and begin to die. When these cells die, the abilities controlled by them are lost. This causes symptoms such as aphasia. This complication has a negative impact on the well-being and quality of life of these patients.
More recently, different studies have shown that systems like VRRS improve language and communication. VRRS is a home-based therapy program that stimulates talking in patients with brain damage. This type of home-based therapy overcomes the difficulty that these patients might have of movement and access to services. The effectiveness of VRRS in the treatment of aphasia in stroke survivors remains unclear.
Methods & findings
This study included 30 patients with aphasia due to stroke. These patients were assigned to a VRRS group or to standard treatment. The study lasted 6 months and included 2 phases lasting 12 weeks each. Treatment included 50-minute sessions, 5 days a week. Talking, reading and writing were assessed, as well as depression and quality of life.
Patients in the VRRS group improved all the investigated areas, except writing. The standard therapy group improved in comprehension, depression, and quality of life.
The bottom line
This study concluded that VRRS is associated with improved treatment outcomes for stroke survivors with aphasia.
The fine print
This study included a limited number of patients. Further studies with a bigger population are needed.
Published By :
Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of the National Stroke Association
Jul 29, 2019