Using virtual reality games to help people with MS with rehabilitation

A woman wears a virtual reality headset with her hands out in front of her against a blue sky backround

Lead researcher: Professor Lorna Paul

Based at: Glasgow Caledonian University   

Our funding: £86,487.00

Status: Active

About the project

Up to three quarters of people with MS experience problems with their arms and/or hands. These problems can happen because of things like muscle weakness, tremor and poor coordination.

It can be hard for people to stay motivated to take part in rehabilitation programmes over a long period of time. New technology may improve motivation by using games for exercise. These games can be designed so the movements in the game mimic those that people with MS find difficult, like turning a key in a lock.

This project will investigate if virtual reality games could help people with MS who have problems with their arms and hands to engage with a rehabilitation programme.

How will it help people with MS?

Problems with arm and hand movement can lead to difficulties carrying out activities of daily living, such as doing up buttons or lifting a cup. People with MS who have upper limb problems are less likely to be in work or take part in social activity. They also have poorer quality of life. A series of games delivered in a virtual reality environment should encourage people with MS to take part in a training programme. And ultimately improve their ability to use their arms and hands.

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£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

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£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette