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Virtual reality programme aids stroke survivors

Virtual reality programme aids stroke survivors
27th January 2015

A virtual reality programme could be used to improve the memory of stroke survivors, a new study has revealed.

Researchers at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand have developed a computer-based treatment based on visual imagery, which teaches participants how to remember time and event-based prospective memory tasks.

Prospective memory is the ability to remember to perform actions in the future and is essential for a range of everyday tasks.

"This kind of memory is often impaired in stroke survivors and can interfere with independent living, as it can result in forgetting to take medication, or remember something they had to do," explained the university's Professor Tanja Mitrovic.

Following treatment, study participants used videos to practice their skills and later did so in a 3D virtual reality environment. Significant improvements were noted in the memories of the stroke survivors, Professor Mitrovic said.

The researchers intend to conduct a larger study and ultimately hope to make their resources freely available over the internet.

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