Photo by E'Lisa Campbell / CC BY-SA 2.0

According to a new study from the Tel Aviv University, combining virtual reality with treadmill training could help prevent dangerous falls associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The intervention combines both physical and cognitive aspects by asking older adults to walk on a treadmill in front of a screen displaying real life situations such as puddles or hurdles to avoid and navigating pathways.

We found that virtual reality plus treadmill training helped to reduce fall frequency and fall risk for at least six months after training — significantly more than treadmill training alone. This suggests that our use of virtual reality successfully targeted the cognitive aspects of safe ambulation to reduce the risk of falls.” said Dr. Mirelman.

The training could be implemented in gyms, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes to improve walking skills and prevent the falls of older adults and those with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

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