Spatial neglect impairs the neural networks supporting spatial attention and related cognitive and motor functions. People experience altered spatial orientation, which can cause problems with balance and navigation, as well as with memory, reading, and other cognitive processes. While progress has been made in detecting post-stroke spatial neglect, treatment strategies have lagged. To address the need for effective neurorehabilitation, researchers have developed a treatment approach based on immersive virtual reality (VR), which allows standardized delivery of intensive, repetitive therapy in a flexible, engaging environment.
The spatial neglect therapy employs a head-mounted display and hand-tracking technology. The system has a user interface that accommodates creation of a patient profile, a calibration module, a choice of four game-like treatment modules, and a spreadsheet for data collection and export, enabling therapists to review progress across sessions.
In the virtual treatment environments, patients wear a head-mounted display and hand-tracking technology to engage in a variety of challenging motor tasks. The scoring algorithm rewards correct responses, with higher scores awarded for tasks completed successfully in the neglected space.