Infoscience

Conference paper

The effects of haptic-virtual reality game therapy on brain-motor coordination for children with hemiplegia: A pilot study

Children with hemiplegia have movements' difficulties especially in their upper limbs, these difficulties occur due to the loss of the communication between the brain and the affected side of the body. In this study, visual, audio, and tactile stimulation were provided to the patients to reactivate the communication between their brains and their affected upper limbs. Haptic stimulation control strategy was developed by using haptic devices, which are less expensive comparing with other alternative devices of therapy like robots, and virtual reality (VR) scenarios for haptic-VR therapy in order to ensure that visual, audio, and tactile feedback will be provided to the brain to transmit its instruction to the body. A 3 degree of freedom (DOF) haptic device was used to apply this control strategy. The developed strategy provides free paths in VR scenes and force feedback in other directions, in other words "resist-when-needed" model. A functional assessment method was used to evaluate the performance of the targeted upper limb. The method has been used with two children with hemiplegia. Results illustrate a notice enhancement of normal joint recruitment, which results in that the developed haptic control along with VR helps to encourage the affected side of the brain to give the needed instruction to the affected upper limb.

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