New Investments Are Made To Explore The Use Of Virtual Reality In Teen Brain Injury Rehabilitation

December 15, 2020, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Boy Wearing Black and White Virtual Reality HeadsetTeens and children are an at-risk group for brain injuries for many reasons. They participate in organized sports like soccer, hockey, rugby, and skating, they are novice drivers with a higher risk of car accidents, they use bicycles and skateboards, and developmentally they are risk-takers. TBI in teens and children is a leading cause of disability in this age group.

Concussion, TBI, and other brain injuries are also more serious in children and teens as their brains are still developing. Self-reporting of symptoms can be unreliable, and diagnosis can also be a challenge. Treatment is heavily reliant on the patient co-operating and on the parents’ ability to monitor the child.


Recently there has been a good deal of focus on using virtual reality and gaming theory in the rehabilitation of children and teens with TBI. In America, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently received a $1 million (Canadian) grant to continue his work in using virtual reality to help children with TBI to regain their executive function skills while rehabilitating.


The VR systems are an attractive platform for the age group that is already familiar with gaming. They allow patients to interact with the computer in the artificial environment with VR goggles and special sensor-laden gloves. These programmes allow the patient to sharpen their cognitive skills in a fun and interactive way. The specially designed hardware is aimed at the clinical needs of children with TBI. The games are designed to train working memory, cognitive flexibility and to train inhibitory control.


TBI can be caused by a sudden sharp blow to the head, or bumps to the head or blows to the body. It results in a disruption of normal brain function. TBI can range in severity from mild to severe and can impact memory, mood, balance, emotion, sleep, and cognitive function among other things. In children, TBI can also result in epilepsy and long term brain disease like Alzheimer’s disease.


The new funding will be used to continue research on the feasibility and safety of virtual reality intervention. New patient recruitment and analysis of the effectiveness of the intervention on improving the brain's executive function will be funded as well.


If you suspect that your child has sustained a concussion, or TBI it is imperative to seek medical care immediately. Early diagnosis and intervention are the keys to successful treatment and recovery from injury. It is also important to remember that after the first brain injury subsequent ones occur more easily and cause greater damage.


There are many documented cases of teen athletes dying after sustaining repeated concussions. Rowan’s Law was established to help prevent such tragedies in Ontario.

Posted under Accident Benefit News, Brain Injury, Concussion Syndrome, traumatic brain injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

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