Stroke is a brain injury that frequently affects patients walking function. Since walking disabilities can greatly influence someone's daily activities, independent community access, participation in social activities and quality of life, regaining the ability to walk has high priority.
In recent years, a new tool emerged in gait rehabilitation: the use of virtual reality (VR). Despite the fact that VR in combination with gait rehabilitation is being increasingly used in practice, so far, very little is known about how VR can influence the walking pattern of people post-stroke. Video games that are often used today for physical rehabilitation, such as the Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation, were initially designed for pleasure instead of physical rehabilitation. As a consequence, there is still a great need for knowledge about the adjustments that can and need to be made in order to use these games properly for rehabilitation purposes.
In this project, we will investigate if and how the incorporation of several principles in the virtual reality influence the walking pattern during treadmill walking in people post-stroke. We will be using the virtual reality system ‘Oculus Rift’, glasses which will completely immerse you in the virtual world.
Ultimately, our final goal is to advance the field of virtual reality and neurorehabilitation, an exciting and challenging field.
De Keersmaecker E. et al. (2020) "The Effect of Optic Flow Speed on Active Participation During Robot-Assisted Treadmill Walking in Healthy Adults"