The recovery of the functional use of the upper limb is a main goal of rehabilitation in stroke survivors. Despite the development of many rehabilitation programs, upper limb paresis following a stroke still results in disability and a great societal cost. Attention deficits are also common in these patients. Here we propose two mixed-reality (MR) interventions to improve functional outcomes of the rehabilitation interventions as compared with classic rehabilitation programs. MR interfaces allow patients to use real world objects while interacting with virtual images, which enhances the use of real world objects. Virtual Reality allows recreating an ecological setting, which is key to the transfer of the rehabilitation outcomes. In the first intervention, patients will be able to train with real and also the same virtual objects and that in an enriched environment. To better understand how MR contributes to the mechanisms of neuroplasticity, in this first experiment, we also seek to compare cinematic measures of object manipulation (virtual vs. real). In the second MR intervention, an avatar will mimic the patient’s gestures and movements with real objects. This will give the patient an allocentric perspective of their movement. Moreover, these interventions will allow us to test the hypothesis that a MR motor training environment might have a beneficial effect on attention.
Participants will be recruited from the pool of patients from the stroke outpatient program of NISA Hospital and clinical staff will contribute to data collection. The outcomes of those interventions will be compared with the outcomes of the conventional rehabilitation program (i.e. occupational therapy and physiotherapy without virtual or MR). We will not only assess motor function, but also attention and motivation. We expect to find better outcomes by following the MR interventions.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software/application software/virtual reality
- /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/neurology/stroke
- /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/physiotherapy
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