Virtual reality training using the CAREN or GRAIL has been investigated for improving motor symptoms in people post-stroke, for example Punt et al. (2019) investigated whether the use of perturbation based gait training could improve gait stability in people post-stroke [1]. Furthermore de Rooij et al. (2019) assessed the feasibility and effects of virtual reality balance and gait training for people post stroke [2].

A recent case study shows that the CAREN also has potential for improving cognitive and psychological status in people post-stroke. In this case study de Luca et al. (2019) describe their experience using the CAREN to train a chronic stroke patient with the aim of reducing the sensation of anxiety – a new way of using the CAREN system. The authors compared the effect of conventional rehabilitation therapy in a quiet environment, focusing on diaphragmatic breathing technique, to the therapy in the virtual environment on the CAREN. The CAREN training focused first on balance applications, aiming to improve attention and visuospatial abilities. Thereafter the patient walked through different virtual reality environments using the self-paced functionality, while also performing breathing and relaxation techniques. Dual task training was added during the last part of the session. Based on the behavioral, psychometric and functional measures, the authors reported a significant improvement in cognitive and behavioral function after training on the CAREN, while only a mild improvement was seen after conventional training. De Luca et al. (2019) suggest that adding dual task training in the VR may also play an important role in the cognitive rehabilitation.

Interested to know more. Check out the full article here: de Luca et al (2019) Medicine (Baltimore)

[1] Punt, M., Bruijn, S. M., van de Port, I. G., de Rooij, I..M., Wittink, H., & van Dieën, J. H. (n.d. ). Does a Perturbation-Based Gait Intervention Enhance Gait Stability in Fall-Prone Stroke Survivors? A Pilot Study, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 35(3), 173-181. doi: 10.1123/jab.2017-0282

[2] de Rooij IJM, van de Port IGL, Meijer J-WG (2017) Feasibility and Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Training on Balance and Gait Recovery Early after Stroke: A Pilot Study. Int J Phys Med Rehabil 5:418. doi: 10.4172/2329-9096.1000418