Virtual reality therapy is gaining popularity recently. Can it be used for stroke rehabilitation?
Studies reveal that VR therapy may not be more effective than the traditional therapy for upper limbs. However, low-quality evidence has found that it can improve outcomes in the absence of other therapy interventions after stroke. Overall VR appears to be a safe rehabilitation, and which is effective in arm function improvement and activity of daily life function. Moreover, VR can be part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program and it is reasonably a more entertaining rehabilitation method.
VR therefore can be one of the ways to get mass practice and task focus training for limbs which can boost the brain to “re-wire” the new neural connections. And the new connections can stimulate the recovery of motor function which then translates into activity of daily life. Furthermore, patients can practice in realistic environment manipulating real objects and events by integrating visual, auditory, tactile and somatosensory system.