Can the use of virtual reality improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy?
Who says therapy can’t be fun? This study provides scientific data that incorporating virtual reality into therapy can improve motor function in children with cerebral palsy. In fact, one of the primary benefits of this form of therapy is that it is fun and therefor motivating. The authors of the study describe how important motivation is for functional neural plasticity – which is the brain’s ability to move functions from a damaged area of the brain to other undamaged areas.
Virtual Reality can be incorporated into therapy in the forms of games such as Nintendo Wii, Armeo®Spring and YouGrabber® system. These virtual environments allow children with cerebral palsy the opportunity to experience activities that cannot be performed in the real world for safety reasons or by minimizing the limitations inherent to the disability.
In this virtual environment, in which it is possible to play without worrying about failures, a child is able to experiment with new movements and train those movements systematically, with immediate feedback, in a fun and motivating environment.
Finally, therapy based in virtual reality is very adaptable and accessible for all. Families can incorporate this therapy into their daily routines, rain or shine, and regardless of whether they live in a remote rural location or in a large urban city.
If you are seeking to incorporate virtual reality based therapy into your child’s life, and if you need some financial support to get started, consider applying for the CP Smile Bursary
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