Is virtual reality a useful adjunct to rehabilitation after spinal cord injury?


Spinal cord injury (SCI) has devastating effects on the CNS, leading to disruption of various neuromuscular, sensory, and autonomic pathways. However, the changes induced in the nervous system extend well beyond the tracts and neurons directly disrupted starting soon after the injury.1 There is substantial neural plasticity that takes place throughout the CNS, including the cortex.2 Trying to improve function and pain after a peripheral injury by intervening at the cortical level has been explored since the mid-1990s with classic mirror box therapy for phantom limb pain.3


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