Scientists suggest the use of augmented reality in the treatment of phantom pain





Studies show that a large percentage of people who had undergone amputations, feel pain, as if this part of the body they still had. This condition is called phantom pain and appears due to the fact that the part of the brain that is responsible for the movement of a limb, continues to “believe” that the limb actually will not go away and “projects” pain in the missing part of the body.

Typically, phantom pain difficult to cure, a further study has suggests the use of virtual reality and games as therapy for these areas of the brain. Experiments show that after this treatment the level of discomfort felt by the patient is substantially reduced.

Previous attempts to alleviate phantom pain by replicating sensory through artificial limb made through so-called mirror therapy, when to replace the phantom limb used mirror reflection of real limbs.

System augmented reality in turn is more complex view of the same mirror therapy, but this method only shows the effectiveness of the treatment of phantom limb pain-sided (ie, one amputated limb).

A team of researchers from the Swedish Chalmers University of Technology aims to get rid of this limitation and tries to apply the method of treatment augmented reality, in which the management of phantom limb on the screen will be performed micro-electric activity of the signals applied to the muscles of the place where the real limb was amputated.

When testing this method of treatment of a team of scientists used a racing simulator in which a person had to be run on the screen of his car phantom limb, rather Biotok muscles, which were connected to the wire. It is noteworthy that the man suffered before almost 48 years of phantom pain amputated hands and hardly amenable to the conventional method of mirror therapy, during experiments almost completely unable to get rid of it.


Although a team of experts indicates that their study is based on a study of only one patient, the results of further work may show very positive results in other cases.

Demonstration of this method of treatment can be seen in the video below.

Results of their work, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology shared the pages one of the last issues of the scientific journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.
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Tags: Augmented Reality , Health , Medicine , Man .

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