Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of long-term disability among young people and adults. There are about 5,48 million people who suffer and live with this disease every year.
The TBI affects the patient’s motor, cognitive, emotional and even psychological functions, causing a worsening of their quality of life.
But thanks to technological innovations in recent years it has been possible to develop new rehabilitation strategies based on virtual reality, which favor and accelerate patient recovery.
A study conducted by the IRCCS Neurolesi Center “Bonino Pulejo” of Messina, aimed at testing how the use of virtual reality can bring a significant improvement in the patient’s state of health, confirmed this theory.
For this purpose, one hundred patients with TBI were brought together, which were then divided into two groups of fifty people. One group underwent a standard cognitive rehabilitation treatment, while the other underwent rehabilitation treatment with the NIRVANA system.
The experiment included a total of 24 1-hour sessions (3 times a week for 8 weeks). Both groups were asked to perform a conventional physiotherapy program with the aim of improving their strength and coordination, strengthening muscles and decreasing spasticity.
At the end of the training program, the patients’ results were evaluated, and we can say that although both groups achieved good results, patients undergoing NIRVANA treatment achieved better results, especially in the cognitive sectors, such as cognitive flexibility, the shift of attention, visual research and execution and visuospatial tasks, necessary for planning and managing daily life.
In addition to demonstrating that immersive virtual reality (NIRVANA) can bring benefits to the patient, the importance of the motivational and interactive aspect that this system includes must not be neglected, representing an added value for patients suffering from TBI throughout the rehabilitation process.