Picture: https://virtu-aal.eu/results-vr-cognitive-training/

Full Article Link: 

  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31615196/
  • https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/europa-medicophysica/article.php?cod=R33Y2020N01A0047

 

The role of virtual reality in shaping and improving brain health is a topic that is being widely researched right now. This Taiwanese based study focused on investigating the effects of 12 weeks of VR-based physical and cognitive training on cognitive function, brain activation and “instrumental activities of daily living” and compared the VR intervention with combined physical and cognitive training. There were 34 participants in this study who were assessed for their cognitive function both pre and post intervention. 

Both groups showed improved executive function and verbal memory (immediate recall). However, only the VR group showed significant improvements in global cognition, verbal memory (delayed recall), and “instrumental activities of daily living”  after the intervention.

In the US, with the incidence of cognitive impairment reaching between 16-40% after the age of 70, it is important that we focus on slowing the progression of the impairment. VR technology is becoming widely available and more affordable than ever. Assuming further studies can verify the results of this Taiwanese study, nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers may benefit from incorporating VR technology into daily therapy for older adult residents. 

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