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Virtual reality to rewire brain?

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Bogwopit, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Bogwopit

    Bogwopit

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    Has anyone tried using a virtual reality headset to rewire the brain into accepting excercise? I have seen it used to help people to walk again after amputation or brain injuries. I’m largely housebound and unable to walk more than a few metres without PEM. I have been searching for virtual reality apps of walking, but can’t find anything useful. Wondered if watching something like this daily might help. I don’t know if it’s already been tried. Thoughts? Thank you.
     
  2. nanonug

    nanonug Senior Member

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    You appear to be operating under the belief that PEM is psychosomatic. SEID (aka, ME/CFS) is explicitly non-psychosomatic. If you think your condition is psychosomatic, you should consult a neurologist or psychiatrist and see if you suffer from conversion disorder.
     
  3. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    First, psychosomatic illnesses including conversion disorder, are almost certainly always a false diagnosis. There is no objective evidence such diagnoses are valid diagnostic entities. They are most probably fictitious.

    On virtual reality, there is a reason many of us are gamers. If you have looking at this kind of experiment, then gaming is where it is at. There are not walking simulators, but there are many games in which you can walk while in virtual reality. Gaming gets me out of my limited living space, and creates an illusion of another life. Its like a holiday ... its not my life but its a welcome escape.

    However I seriously doubt it will be of benefit for PEM. I do not yet have a virtual reality headset, its on my todo list. However I know someone who has done this. In general, virtual reality creates massive rapid vertigo or crash. The brain is overwhelmed. However new advances in virtual reality have at least partly fixed this. There is at least one ME patient currently playing Skyrim VR with only minor issues. It has not retrained the brain though. According to what I have heard, its peripheral vision that is the main problematic issue, and Skyrim VR deals with this by limiting peripheral vision during movement.

    If there are other ME patients playing VR games, please let us know your experience.

    PEM is, according to the best current science, probably not primarily an issue with the brain though the brain might be affected. Its an issue with biochemistry. Now the brain might be orchestrating some of this, but its exceedingly unlikely it has anything to do with visual processing.
     
    alkt and Hubris like this.
  4. Hubris

    Hubris

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    I'm sure they will totally not be biased
     
  5. Bogwopit

    Bogwopit

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I have an M.E diagnosis and I’m largely housebound. I do believe it’s a true diagnosis. I’m under an nhs cfs clinic. Their approach is focused on ANS dysfunction and that this causes a maladaptive response, eg your muscles aren’t damaged from minimal exercise but the body responds as if they are due to ANS signal mix up. This is why I wondered if I could trick my brain with virtual reality into it sending different messages to my body. I clearly have no proper knowledge about this condition! It was just a thought given its use to help people with brain injuries.
     
    Mary and alkt like this.
  6. Runner5

    Runner5 Senior Member

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    PNW
    Um, I meditate, that's actually a pretty good way to rewire the brain. It doesn't stop PEM or symptoms but my brain feels better and clearer.
     
    alkt likes this.
  7. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This is an unproven hypothesis. There is however some limited evidence of autonomic dysfunction, and orthostatic intolerance comes under that category. However there are other issues here, like weak blood vessels (EDS) or low blood volume.

    Do you have orthostatic intolerance? Are they treating it with methods like drugs or compression stockings, or advice to increase salt intake? If the answer is no to the treatment in all cases then perhaps they are too biased to be even good at treating autonomic issues.

    How long have you been under treatment? Huge numbers of patients are left abandoned when treatments do not work. We do not have an accurate assessment of the numbers as appropriate records do not appear to be kept.
     

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