Effects of virtual reality-based training with BTs-Nirvana on functional recovery in stroke patients: preliminary considerations

Rosaria De Luca, Margherita Russo, Antonino Naro, Provvidenza Tomasello, Simona Leonardi, Floriana Santamaria, Latella Desireè, Alessia Bramanti, Giuseppe Silvestri, Placido Bramanti, Rocco Salvatore Calabrò

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AIM OF THE STUDY: Cognitive impairment occurs frequently in post-stroke patients. This study aimed to determine the effects of a virtual reality training (VRT) with BTs-Nirvana (BTsN) on the recovery of cognitive functions in stroke patients, using the Interactive-Semi-Immersive Program (I-SIP).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We enrolled 12 subjects (randomly divided into two groups: experimental group (EG); and control group (CG)), who attended the Laboratory of Robotic and Cognitive Rehabilitation of IRCCS Neurolesi of Messina from January to June 2016. The EG underwent a VRT with BTsN, whereas CG received a standard cognitive treatment. Both the groups underwent the same conventional physiotherapy program. Each treatment session lasted 45 minutes and was repeated three times a week for 8 weeks. All the patients were evaluated by a specific clinical-psychometric battery before (T0), immediately (T1), and one month (T2) after the end of the training.

RESULTS: At T1, the EG presented a greater improvement in the trunk control test (p = 0.03), the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (p = 0.01), the selective attention assessment scores (p = 0.01), the verbal memory (p = 0.03), and the visuospatial and constructive abilities (p = 0.01), as compared to CG. Moreover, such amelioration persisted at T2 only in the EG.

CONCLUSIONS: According to these preliminary data, VRT with I-SIP can be considered a useful complementary treatment to potentiate functional recovery, with regard to attention, visual-spatial deficits, and motor function in patients affected by stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2 2018


  • Journal Article


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