Researchers at the University of Manchester (Manchester, UK) have devised an experimental method of virtual reality for the treatment of phantom limb pain (PLP) experienced by some amputees. Using headsets, data gloves, and other sensors, amputees used their remaining physical limbs to control the movements of a computer-generated counterpart, which appears in the 3D computer-generated world in the space of their amputated limb.
The experiment is based on previous research that found that when a person's brain is tricked into believing it can see, move, and "sense" a restored limb, PLP pain can decrease. Four out of the five patients involved reported improvement in their PLP, with some improvements being almost immediate. The experiment was performed on arm, finger, and leg amputees.
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