Video game detects changes in spatial navigation

A 3D video game developed by researchers to test for the early signs of dementia could also one day be used by physiotherapists to identify disorders with impaired movement.

Dementia researchers are eager to test the power of Sea Hero Quest and have high hopes for its potential to gather massive amounts of data about the early stages of dementia. Since spatial navigation is one of the first skills to go in dementia, Sea Hero Quest could lead to the development of an early diagnostic test for the disease.

The possible applications of this type of technology to the field of physiotherapy are tantalizing. Could it be used to correct movement patterns and enhance the skills of an athlete? Could it also lead to the early detection of neurological disorders with movement impairments, such as Parkinsons Disease?

The possibility of using virtual reality to identify, treat and prevent conditions is quickly growing, as evidenced by the diversity of games and devices we’re seeing in this field.

Have your patients benefited from virtual reality sessions? Do you see any other applications for this kind of technology?

Let us know in the comments below.

neurological rehabilitation for physiotherapy and physical therapy

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Patricia Niblock
Patricia Niblock
May 11, 2016 at 8:24 pm

Hullo Monica
I am a physio and trained many many years ago at The London Hospital now The Royal London…
I read the very interesting email about video technology being increasingly used to detect abnormal neurological movement – which I will keep my eyes on as I have an old head injury which has had obvious long term affects to my breathing and energy and memory. There will be appropriate videos soon for these challenges too.

Meanwhile for one of my most debilitating challenges – the breathing… Would you please let me have the titles of the “cd” games used for children with cystic fibrosis to improve lung function as I think it would improve my lung function too. I have seen one which is a cartoon in which the player breathes in and lifts the balloon over a mountain and as he breathes out the balloon crashes!

My injury was base of skull ( medulla) in particular the Brain Stem- cardiac and respiratory centres which work together keeping a check on the levels of oxygen in the blood during periods of extra effort.

If you can’t advise me how or where in the CSP can I find the appropriate cds?

I appreciate your help

with best wishes

Trish Niblock

Monica Tanaka
Monica Tanaka
May 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Hello Patricia,

I’m glad to hear that you found the story interesting and I also hope that virtual reality games will improve treatments for people with memory and breathing difficulties. We’ve recently published a few stories on Physiospot about virtual reality and its uses in physiotherapy and I hope these are of some help. I’ve listed the links below:

I’m not familiar with the games that you mentioned, the ones which help children with cystic fibrosis improve lung function. Over at Physiopedia, we have a good selection of resources on cystic fibrosis, including an article on the Active Cycle of Breathing technique which can help patients clear their sputum. Here’s the link:

I hope these links are helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them or point you in the best direction. Thanks again for leaving a comment and getting in touch. We love to hear from our readers!

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