JMIR Blvd Games | VR Balance Training for Parkinson’s Disease

Newswise – JMIR’s Recently Posted Posts Benefits of virtual reality balance training for patients with Parkinson’s disease: systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of a randomized controlled trial. In JMIR Serious Games, which reported that virtual reality (VR) balance training is increasingly being pursued in biomedical research, especially with regard to investigating the ability of balance with VR.

However, current systematic reviews have found inconsistent conclusions about the effectiveness of virtual reality in improving balance in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The aim of the research was to evaluate the effect of virtual reality balance training on balance ability in Parkinson’s disease patients.

A total of 16 randomized controlled trials were analyzed, with a methodological quality assessment score ranging from 5 to 8 points.

The meta-analysis showed that the balance ability of the PD was significantly improved after VR training compared to the control group (standard mean difference 2.127, 95% CI 1.202-3.052, p <.001).

Dr. Zhanbing Ren from Shenzhen University said, “Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the most common neurological movement disorder and results from impairment of dopamine-producing neurons in the ventral midbrain with progressive neurological loss.”

Virtual Reality (VR) technology incorporates human-computer interaction technology based on perception and can provide patients with multi-sensory stimulation and rich virtual scenes, increase the feeling of immersion, and perceive real-time feedback on physical actions.

The main potential mechanisms of VR therapy include the possibility of repetition of virtual tasks, positive feedback from virtual machines, and tactile simulation of a virtual environment.

Therefore, virtual reality technology may be an effective way to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s.

The virtual environment created by virtual reality technology can enhance the illusion of physical movement, increase immersion to enhance the activation of motor brain regions, mobilize changes in the neuronal plasticity of the brain, rebuild the synapses of nervous system cells, directly train the central nervous system, leading To significant benefits for the reorganization and restoration of the neural structure in Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

In addition, sample sizes for randomized controlled trials are currently insufficient to explore the effect of VR training dose on improving PD balance.

Dr. Ren and their team concluded in their JMIR publications research findings, “A systematic review and meta-analysis confirmed that VR balance training is a highly effective way to improve balance performance with significant effects in PD. In addition, we extracted tentatively dose-effect relationships for training volume, informing clinicians and practitioners to design effective VR balance training for ability on balance. Future studies should focus particularly on the detailed description of training variables, so as to analyze the dose-effect relationship of VR balance training in PD.”



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Key words – Virtual reality, Parkinson’s disease, balance, systematic review, meta-analysis, meta-regression, serious games, virtual reality, rehabilitation, virtual reality training

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