Retrain the Brain: life after stroke and injury

Posted on Tuesday 8th November 2011

VRoutline1

There are more than a quarter of a million new cases of brain injury in the U.K. every year, whether as a result of stroke or head trauma. Stroke accounts for over 53,000 deaths a year in the U.K. - the third highest cause of death after heart disease and cancer - and over 450,000 people are severely disabled as a result of strokes. In addition, the effects of ageing will become an increasing concern as the number of elderly people accelerates dramatically over the next few decades.

We are addressing the physical and emotional effects of ageing so that our population can live longer in good health. Our new Centre for Virtual Reality (VR) Learning and Rehabilitation will transform lives by ensuring that once-debilitating injuries and disorders can be overcome, one step at a time.

Dr Michael Grey, Senior Lecturer in Neurorehabilitation "The research we do will help to develop more successful training and rehabilitation methods for disorders of movement and balance, thus improving quality of life more quickly."

When people suffer brain injuries, it can be too traumatic or dangerous to be adequately treated in the real world - a world of moving traffic, uneven surfaces, physical obstacles, and unseen but immense psychological and emotional pressures. The new VR Centre will allow people to be treated in a fully controlled environment and will provide important research that underpins treatment all over the world.

Our Centre for Virtual Reality Learning and Rehabilitation will be the only one of its kind in Europe, and one of only three such facilities in the world. It will include an immersive, multi-sensory dome in which we can study and develop effective rehabilitation methods in safe and entirely controllable, virtual reality environments. Here patients can perform complex motor activities under the supervision and guidance of our neurological experts, safely taking the first steps in their recovery, from virtual to reality.

Find out how you can help support this VR Neurorehabiltation initiative.

We would like to acknowledge Motek Medical, who have allowed us to use their image of the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) system.