Using VR and brain training to help paraplegics walk

At Duke University there has been a study using VR and non-invasive brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). They have been using this technology to revolutionise the lives of people with chronic physical injuries such as paraplegia.


Credit: AASDAP/ Lente Viva Filmes

Credit: AASDAP/ Lente Viva Filmes

They studied 8 people, 7 of whom were quadriplegics, by attaching them to a brain-controlled exoskeleton while they were placed in a virtual environment. The results of this experiment showed that they were beginning to feel sensations from the parts of their body that didn’t function, such as cold, warmth and pain. As a result the patients’ condition was changed from full paralysis to partial and they began to have greater control of their bladder functions.

In summary; this shows a medical application for the gaming industry instead of just an entertainment-based one.

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Written by Larry Miller

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