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Parkinson’s disease (PD) results from degenerative changes in the nervous system, leading to dysfunction of the cerebral basal ganglia. Patients often have posture control disorders and mobility disorders. seriously affecting their quality of life. Freezing of gait is one of the common complications of PD patients, often occurring in the advanced stages of the disease. With this complication, despite the patient’s attempt to walk, the forward progression of the feet is significantly reduced. increasing the risk of falls and creating difficulties in the patient’s care . Currently, drugs that target freezing of gait in PD do not provide the patient with a fully effective response . The literature suggests that physical therapy can further improve the motor function of patients with PD]. One of the most promising treatments is virtual reality (VR), which can provide visual, auditory, and somatosensory stimuli to assist in improving gait for individuals with PD. It enables people to interact with an artificial VR, while health professionals can monitor and evaluate their progress. External stimuli are beneficial in improving gait in patients with PD , with an additional increase in speed associated with the use of visual cues. However, so far, there is not enough evidence to prove the effectiveness of VR technology in improving motor function in Parkinson’s patients.
The rapid development of artificial intelligence has led to emerging areas of research in rehabilitation medicine. A proof-ofconcept study found that wearable sensors could gain objective measures of balance exercises in individuals with PD. VR technology has attracted attention as a new means of rehabilitation, and in recent years, the literature in this area has expanded. VR can provide patients with more sensory stimulation, a more immersive environment, and real-time feedback during specific motor tasks , reflecting motor learning and neuroplasticity . Therefore, this approach can be considered as a complement to traditional rehabilitation therapies. A meta-analysis indicated that in healthy older people, “exergaming” may improve balance and functional mobility.
A lack of functional gait can be compensated for with visual information . The literature suggests that for individuals with PD, “exergaming” as an aided strategy using the Kinect sensor is a safe and appealing alternative to conventional physical therapy. However, there is currently little clinical literature on VR and traditional exercise therapy, with a study length of less than 8 weeks for most observational studies. The purpose of the present study is to observe the effects of a 12-week VR training program on gait and balance in patients with PD.
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