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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2019, Article ID 9268179, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/9268179
Research Article

Improving Cognitive Function after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Clinical Trial on the Potential Use of the Semi-Immersive Virtual Reality

IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino Pulejo”, Messina, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Rocco Salvatore Calabrò; ti.ilacsit@77orblas

Received 29 January 2019; Accepted 15 July 2019; Published 30 July 2019

Guest Editor: Mary H. Kosmidis

Copyright © 2019 Rosaria De Luca et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of long-term disability and death among young adults, and it represents an enormous socioeconomic and healthcare burden. Our purpose is to evaluate the effects of a virtual reality training with BTs-Nirvana (BTs-N) on the recovery of cognitive functions in TBI subjects, using the interactive semi-immersive program. One hundred patients with TBI were enrolled in this study and randomized into either the Traditional Cognitive Rehabilitation Group (TCRG: ) or the Virtual Reality Training Group (VRTG: ). The VRTG underwent a VRT with BTs-N, whereas the TCRG received a standard cognitive treatment. Each treatment session lasted 60 minutes and was repeated three times a week for 8 weeks. All of the patients were evaluated by a specific psychometric battery before (T0) and immediately (T1) after the end of the training. VRTG and TCRG had a significant improvement in cognitive functioning and in mood, but only VRTG presented with a significant increase in cognitive flexibility and shifting skills and in selective attention. In conclusion, our results suggest that VR may be a useful and effective approach for the rehabilitation of patients with TBI, leading to better cognitive and behavioral outcomes.