Virtual Reality: a validated and effective tool to evaluate and treat finger movement impairments in Parkinson's disease

by Verónica Robles García

Institution: Universidade da Coruña
Year: 2015
Keywords: Fisiología del sistema nervioso central; Neurofisiología; Parasitología
Record ID: 1129270
Full text PDF: http://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/oaites?codigo=44281


Virtual Reality (VR) is a promising tool in neurorehabilitation because it promotes functional, motivational and challenging activities, optimizing exercise. Importantly, VR facilitates the imitation process by customizing, controlling and presenting movements to be observed and imitated. This thesis sought to validate a Virtual Reality System as a tool to evaluate impairments in repetitive movements in Parkinson¿s disease, and to study the effect of a Virtual Reality Therapy based on imitation as a possible therapeutic strategy to facilitate motor learning and to improve motor function in the disease. To achieve these goals a set of studies were conducted to evaluate a combination of behavioural and neurophysiological variables, by using kinematic, electromyographic, and transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques. The results demonstrated that the Virtual Reality System designed is a valid tool to evaluate alterations in rhythm formation in people with Parkinson's disease, based on the finger tapping test. Besides, an intervention based on movement imitation in VR has positive after-effects in clinical signs, such as reducing hypometria, also the patient¿s corticospinal excitability changed towards a more physiological profile.