An academic article published in August this year suggests that virtual reality technology could help in rehabilitation for people with traumatic brain injury. With the VR industry gaining ever more power with each passing year, it’s not surprising that it would take a venture into the realm of health sciences and therapy.
The idea that video games provide nothing more than idle distractions with which one wastes away one’s life is (thankfully) becoming more outdated. Of course, anything in excess is bound to be problematic for one’s health, so living an entirely sedentary life in front of the console is never going to be a good idea. But in fact, video games – and VR – are becoming increasingly more recognized for their potential in contexts of learning, therapy, and rehabilitation.
Traumatic Brain Injury: A Problem In Need Of Solving
Traumatic brain injury – or TBI for short – is a serious problem, all over the world. However, as of this year in the US alone, there are about 5 million people living with disabilities caused by TBI. That’s of course excluding the families impacted by each one of those individual people. Another frightening statistic is that around $48-56 billion is spent annually on direct and indirect costs related to TBI.
TBI can be the result of stroke, a blow to the head, or some similar injury. The long-term consequences of TBI depends on how bad the injury is, its location in the brain, as well as what kind of therapy is administered. Generally speaking, though, TBI often has long-lasting negative effects on cognitive functions like memory, attention, and executive functions (e.g. planning and monitoring one’s emotions). This will often be accompanied by physical deficits related to movement, and mood-related problems like depression.