Computer-based programs and virtual reality effective at treating children with acquired brain injury

Computer-based programs and virtual reality effective at treating children with acquired brain injury

Use of a computer environment is a new and fast-developing field in pediatric neurorehabilitation. The first longitudinal study in Estonia on the cognitive and social rehabilitation of children with acquired brain injury was completed at the University of Tartu, confirming the efficiency of using computer-based programs and virtual reality for improving children's attention, visuospatial abilities and social skills. According to a researcher at the University of Tartu Faculty of Medicine, Marianne Saard, neurorehabilitation is a systematic intervention designed to compensate for or remediate cognitive and/or behavioral impairments caused by brain injury, to improve coping with daily life, increase skills to do what is desired and required, but which is difficult due to the impairments caused by the injuries. In her doctoral thesis "Modern Cognitive and Social Intervention Techniques in Paediatric Neurorehabilitation for Children with Acquired Brain Injury" Saard studied one of the most novel possibilities for pediatric neurorehabilitation available today: use of a computer-based environment and virtual reality. It is a method that is engaging and safe for children and allows them to practice the skills they need, from attention, space awareness and memory, to manual skills and to develop communication skills." Marianne Saard, researcher at the University of Tartu Faculty of Medicine The positive effect of neurorehabilitation in the treatment of cognitive and social deficits in children with acquired brain injuries has been proved by many earlier studies, and was also confirmed by the first longitudinal study in this field in Estonia conducted by Saard. Within the doctoral thesis and under the supervision of Dr. Anneli Kolk, an associate professor in pediatric neuropsychology at the University of Tartu, Saard and the research team developed research-based intervention protocols and new technology-based rehabilitation methods for the specific treatment of impaired functions in children. Related Stories



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