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Georgia Institute of Technology
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Effectiveness of Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation in Virtual Reality Games for Improving Upper-Arm Function in Children with Cerebral Palsy

The objective of the research is to examine the impact of auditory stimulus on improving upper-arm function in children with cerebral palsy (CP). CP is the leading cause of childhood disabilities, effecting 3.1 children per 1,000 live births in the United States. Recent studies have indicated that at least 50% of children with CP display difficulty in upper-arm function, such as reaching, grasping and manipulating objects. Current interventions for children with CP emphasize the importance of massive practice of functional tasks in various contexts while providing sufficient performance feedback. However, the ability to actively engage in such effective intensive intervention has typically been limited due to costs and limitations on therapist’s time. To deal with this issue, tailored interventions effective both within and outside of the clinical setting are needed that can easily adjust the level of task difficulty while providing sufficient feedback for motivating the child. Since there is evidence on the use of rhythmic auditory stimulus (RAS) in adult-based rehabilitation that can encompass variability found in patient’s motor limitations, our goal in this research is to examine the effect of RAS during interventions with children with CP using virtual reality (VR) rehabilitation games to improve upper-extremity function.

Investigators: Ayanna Howard (Georgia Institute of Technology), Barbara Weissman (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta/Emory University), Yu-Ping Chen (Georgia State University),

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