New Zealand: Scientists use virtual reality helps boost memory in stroke patients

Scientists have developed a new treatment which uses a 3D virtual reality environment to improve the memory of stroke patients.

hidden January 26, 2015 16:02:57 IST
New Zealand: Scientists use virtual reality helps boost memory in stroke patients

Melbourne: Scientists have developed a new treatment which uses a 3D virtual reality environment to improve the memory of stroke patients. Researchers from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, have developed the treatment method which improves prospective memory in stroke patients.

"These tests using a virtual reality environment for stroke patients to practise their cognitive skills clearly work," said Professor Tanja Mitrovic.

"Prospective memory, or remembering to perform actions in the future, is of crucial importance for everyday life. This kind of memory is often impaired in stroke survivors and can interfere with independent living, as it can result in forgetting to take medication, or remember something they had to do."

New Zealand Scientists use virtual reality helps boost memory in stroke patients

Representational Image. AFP

"It is a complex cognitive ability, which requires coordination of multiple cognitive abilities: spatial navigation, retrospective memory, attention and executive functioning. We have developed a computer-based treatment based on visual imagery which teaches participants how to remember time and event-based prospective memory tasks. After the treatment, participants practiced their skills using videos first and later in a 3D virtual reality environment," Mitrovic said.

The study included 15 stroke survivors and each participant had 10 individual sessions spread over 10 weeks. The results showed that the memory skills of the stroke patients tested increased significantly. The researchers aim to make this training available freely over the internet to stroke survivors.

PTI

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