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Towards Effective Telerehabilitation: Assessing Effects of Applying Augmented Reality in Remote Rehabilitation of Patients Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis

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jats:p jats:boldMultiple Sclerosis (MS)</jats:bold> is a chronic, incurable disease of the central nervous system that is also one of the most common causes of disability among young adults. Despite available pharmacological treatments, the patients often require ongoing, supervised rehabilitation. Thus, therapists are constantly searching for new, effective ways of improving functional performance and quality of life without frequently visiting medical centers. One of the most promising methods is remote telerehabilitation enhanced with an immersive jats:boldaugmented reality (AR)</jats:bold> interface. Here, we investigated the effectiveness of using a commercially available AR system in MS patients’ treatment. To evaluate such an approach to rehabilitation, we conducted a medical study with 30 MS patients undergoing immunomodulatory treatment. In this study, we evaluated the influence on the patients’ upper limbs’ hand grip strength and efficiency of the patients’ upper limbs. In addition, we also analyzed the level of neurotrophins to assess the potential impact of the training on the brain plasticity process. Our results show that rehabilitation enhanced with AR significantly improves the strength and efficiency of the patients’ upper limbs. Furthermore, we further infer that AR-enhanced systems are a promising possibility of training without leaving home. </jats:p>



Augmented reality, mixed reality, telerehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, neuroplasticity

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ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing

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Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)