Karpov O.E., Daminov V.D., Novak E.V., Slepnyova N.I.
Pirogov National Medical and Surgical Center, Moscow
Introduction: Aphasia, with the impairment of both verbal and non-verbal communication, and other symptoms of stroke causes emotional disorders. There is a range of conventional psychological interventions to improve that; however, they could have a limited value due to the loss of language.
Aim; This study estimates subjective and objective alternations in the emotional state of patients with aphasia after a relaxing session in virtual reality (VR).
Methods: In total, 40 patients during the first post-stroke year were randomized in the study and control group and successfully completed the sudy. The former underwent relaxation in VR for 20 minutes, whereas a conventional relaxation technique was used in the latter. Patients from both groups were tested with visual analogue scale (VAS) for their mood and electroencephalography (EEG) at the beginning, after a 5-minutes rest and after the intervention.
Results: Demographic parameters and VAS score for mood were comparable in both groups, and the latter improved altogether (p<0.042). The EEG analysis revealed a significant increase in the alpha-power (p = 0.003) and low beta-power (p = 0.004) for all patients with a slight dominance in the study group. The relative power of low alpha-rhythm (p = 0.031) grew while that of low and high beta-rhythm decreased. There was a significant rise of the low/high beta-rhythm ration (р = 0.005) in the study group in comparison to the control group.
Discussion: VR relaxation evokes changes in the brain activity comparable with those which have been described after other stress reduction interventions. Further research is required to understand long-term perspectives and the clinical effect.
Keywords: virtual reality, electroencephalography (EEG), depression, aphasia, stress.
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