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Virtual reality-enhanced stroke rehabilitation

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8 Author(s)
D. Jack ; Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neurosci., Rutgers Univ., Newark, NJ, USA ; R. Boian ; A. S. Merians ; M. Tremaine
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A personal computer (PC)-based desktop virtual reality (VR) system was developed for rehabilitating hand function in stroke patients. The system uses two input devices, a CyberGlove and a Rutgers Master II-ND (RMII) force feedback glove, allowing user interaction with a virtual environment. This consists of four rehabilitation routines, each designed to exercise one specific parameter of hand movement: range, speed, fractionation or strength. The use of performance-based target levels is designed to increase patient motivation and individualize exercise difficulty to a patient's current state. Pilot clinical trials have been performed using the above system combined with noncomputer tasks, such as pegboard insertion or tracing of 2D patterns. Three chronic stroke patients used this rehabilitation protocol daily for two weeks. Objective measurements showed that each patient showed improvement on most of the hand parameters over the course of the training. Subjective evaluation by the patients was also positive. This technical report focuses on this newly developed technology for VR rehabilitation.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )