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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5

Cognitive rehabilitation via head-mounted virtual reality technology in patients with Alzheimer's disease: A systematic review

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence Address:
Bin Liu
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Nanjing Medical University, Longmiandadao 101, Nanjing, Jiangsu
Jianqing Li
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Nanjing Medical University, Longmiandadao 101, Nanjing, Jiangsu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/digm.digm_42_21

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Recent clinical research emphasizes utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology in cognitive impairment rehabilitation. The high immersion and polymorphism make a practical option in cases where the current head-mounted devices (HMD). VR has been used in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. The function of HMD is better than traditional therapies in clinical diagnosis; however, its application in treatment for AD patients remains unclear. The Web of Science databases were searched from January 2016 to August 2021. In addition, research or review articles were filtered according to the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines. We bring into a total of 11 studies published in recent 5 years which show high degree of clinical feasibility. One study showed combined cognitive-behavioral therapy and VR in designing a reminiscence therapy for dementia patients; five other studies were focused on spatial navigation and posture positioning for AD patients and one of them showed effective clinical feasibility; other two studies were aimed at helping AD patients who lacked of attention and failed to propose unique advantage due to the samples data were not large enough for clinical validation. Last three studies were using a comprehensive task model in overall cognitive level and obtain considerable training in specific AD patients. HMD VR has become a reliable tool for cognitive rehabilitation in AD patients' prophylactic treatment: Patients with AD in nursing homes and families showed greater interest in VR-based attention and spatial way finding tasks, and their performance was better for a period of time after the end of the task. Combining the VR tasks with clinical cognitive theory and traditional task models will exert more benefits. More clinical case will further determine the potential of VR in AD patients to develop a practical new path for cognitive rehabilitation in the near future.

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