Virtual Reality as a Tool for Evaluation of Repetitive Rhythmic Movements in the Elderly and Parkinson’s Disease PatientsBy Arias, Pablo; Robles-Garcia, Veronica; Sanmartin, Gabriel; Flores, Julian; Cudeiro, Javier; PLoS ONE, Volume 7, Number 1
Publication Date: January 2012
Study assessed an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) system for the evaluation and potential treatment of the alterations in rhythmic hand movements seen in older individuals and those with Parkinson’s disease (PD). The system integrates users into a VR environment by means of a Head Mounted Display, such that they perceive themselves in a virtual world consisting of a table within a room. The system was evaluated with three groups of participants: 12 healthy young controls (YC) aged 18 to 35 years, 12 healthy elderly controls (EC) aged 51 to 85 years, and 10 PD patients aged 51 to 89 years. The virtual world was presented in first person perspective, with an avatar reproducing finger tapping movements performed by the participants. The task, known as the finger tapping test (FT), was performed by all three groups. FT was carried out on two different days, one week apart. In each FT session, all participants performed FT in the real world and in the VR. Each mode was repeated three times in randomized order. During FT, both the tapping frequency and the coefficient of variation of inter-tap interval were registered. FT in the VR was a valid test to detect differences in rhythm formation between the three groups. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) and mean difference between days for FT in the VR for each group showed reliable results. Finally, the analysis of ICC and mean difference between FT in the VR versus FT in the real world for each variable and group also showed high reliability.
Published by: Public Library of Science (Website:http://www.plos.org/)
Link to text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3261172/?tool=pmcentrez