|Rehabilitation Gaming System - for faster stroke rehabilitation|
Stroke belongs to the most common causes of adult disability. Patients suffering from stroke typically feature severe long term motor function deficits among other impairments following neurological damage of affected brain areas. Appropriate therapies after stroke are thus essential to regain functions that are lost due to brain lesion and that help to improve the performance of tasks needed in patient's everyday life.
The rehabilitation gaming system (RGS) offers a novel approach for motor function relearning caused by stroke or brain injury. The RGS is a virtual reality (VR) based rehabilitation device that provides intensive training options towards specific tasks that are essential in daily living with individualized training scenarios according to a patient's performance. The working hypothesis of the rehabilitation gaming system relies on the assumption of brain plasticity. Brain areas are assumed to reorganize themselves in a way to take over functions of brain regions that were damaged due to stroke or brain injury. The RGS thereby promotes cortical reorganization by simultaneous action execution and observation recruiting the mirror neuron system.
The VR gaming technology is combined with several external interface devices from g.tec to monitor physiological parameters like heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL) and galvanic skin response (GSL) with our g.MOBIlab+ device. The huge number of gaming parameters, in combination with values obtained from external devices, enables optimal feedback on training performance, leading to individual training options for patients. Within the RGS project, the impact of VR based technologies for rehabilitation will be tested in several clinical studies. In addition to the use as a training device, the rehabilitation gaming system could also be utilized as an evaluation tool that provides an objective assessment environment with parameters that can easily be compared among different patients. Hence, it could potentially be an automated tool for diagnostics and monitoring during rehabilitation.