BACKGROUND:: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of a virtual reality training with BTS Nirvana (BTS-N) system in the cognitive and behavioral recovery in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). The BTS-N is a semi-immersive therapy system used for motor and cognitive rehabilitation of patients with neurological diseases, by creating virtual scenarios with which the patient may interact.
METHODS:: We enrolled 20 patients with PD undergoing neurorehabilitation. All the patients were randomized into 2 groups: experimental group performing semi-immersive virtual reality training with BTS-N and control group undergoing traditional cognitive training. Each participant was evaluated before and immediately after the end of the training. Each cognitive training consisted of 3 sessions a week, each lasting 60 minutes, for 8 weeks, for a total of 24 sessions in each group.
RESULTS:: Experimental group showed a greater improvement in cognitive functioning, with regard to executive and visuospatial abilities, as compared with the control group.
CONCLUSION:: Our findings suggest that rehabilitation through a new virtual reality instrument could be a valuable tool in improving cognitive and behavioral outcomes of patients with PD.