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JOURNAL

Journal of Experimental Neuroscience

Neurocognitive Treatment for a Patient with Alzheimer’s Disease Using a Virtual Reality Navigational Environment

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Journal of Experimental Neuroscience 2016:10 129-135

Original Research

Published on 08 Nov 2016

DOI: 10.4137/JEN.S40827


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Abstract

In this case study, a man at the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was enrolled in a cognitive treatment program based upon spatial navigation in a virtual reality (VR) environment. We trained him to navigate to targets in a symmetric, landmark-less virtual building. Our research goals were to determine whether an individual with AD could learn to navigate in a simple VR navigation (VRN) environment and whether that training could also bring real-life cognitive benefits. The results show that our participant learned to perfectly navigate to desired targets in the VRN environment over the course of the training program. Furthermore, subjective feedback from his primary caregiver (his wife) indicated that his skill at navigating while driving improved noticeably and that he enjoyed cognitive improvement in his daily life at home. These results suggest that VRN treatments might benefit other people with AD.



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