Improving cognitive function after brain injury: the use of exercise and virtual reality.

Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 2.36). 07/1999; 80(6):661-7. DOI: 10.1016/S0003-9993(99)90169-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the impact of exercise and virtual reality (VR) on the cognitive rehabilitation of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Before-after trial assessed cognitive function after a 4-week intervention program. A random allocation crossover assessed changes in reaction and movement times after a single bout of VR exercise and a no-exercise control condition.
Brain injury rehabilitation unit in Edinburgh, Scotland.
(1) Four-week intervention: a consecutive sample of 13 suitable TBI adults were compared to control populations (n > 25) of previous TBI patients of similar age, severity, and time postinjury. (2) Single-bout intervention: a consecutive sample of 13 suitable adults with moderate TBI, 6.29 to 202.86 weeks postinjury.
Nonimmersive VR exercise.
(1) Tests of attention, information processing, learning, and memory. (2) Reaction and movement times.
After the 4-week intervention patients performed significantly better than controls on the digit symbol (p < .01). verbal (p < .01), and visual learning tasks (p < .05). Significant improvements in reaction times (p < .01) and movement times (p < .05) were gained following a single bout of VR exercise.
Exercising in a virtual environment offers the potential for significant gains in cognitive function.

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