Bioethics News

Can Virtual Reality Games Help with Phantom Limb Pain?

December 8, 2016

(Reuters) – Virtual reality games designed for amputees to experience movement in missing limbs might help reduce painful sensations from the absent body part, a small experiment suggests. Most amputees experience some “phantom” pain that seems to come from a lost limb. For about a third of them, it becomes so severe that it worsens their disabilities, makes it harder for them to use prosthetic limbs and impacts their mental health and quality of life, researchers note in The Lancet. The experiment tested what researchers call “phantom motor execution,” using virtual reality to give participants the sensation that they’re moving a missing limb.

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