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Critical illness VR rehabilitation device (X-VR-D): evaluation of the potential use for early clinical rehabilitation.

Authors
  • Van de Meent, H
  • Baken, B C M
  • Van Opstal, S
  • Hogendoorn, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2008
Volume
18
Issue
3
Pages
480–486
Identifiers
PMID: 17223575
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

We present a new critical illness VR rehabilitation device (X-VR-D) that enables diversified self-training and is applicable early in the rehabilitation of severely injured or ill patients. The X-VR-D consists of a VR program delivering a virtual scene on a flat screen and simultaneously processing commands to a moving chair mounted on a motion system. Sitting in the moving chair and exposed to a virtual reality environment the device evokes anticipatory and reactive muscle contractions in trunk and extremities for postural control. In this study we tested the device in 10 healthy subjects to evaluate whether the enforced perturbations indeed evoke sufficient and reproducible EMG muscle activations. We found that particular fast roll and pitch movements evoke adequate trunk and leg muscle activity. Higher angular velocities and higher angles of inclination elicited broader EMG bursts and larger amplitudes. The muscle activation pattern was highly consistent between different subjects and although we found some habituation of EMG responses in consecutive training sessions, the general pattern was maintained and was predictable for specific movements. The habituation was characterized by more efficient muscle contractions and better muscle relaxation during the rest positions of the device. Furthermore we found that the addition of a virtual environment to the training session evoked more preparatory and anticipatory muscle activation than sessions without a virtual environment. We conclude that the X-VR-D is safe and effective to elicit consistent and reproducible muscle activity in trunk and leg muscles in healthy subjects and thus can be used as a training method.

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