VR may soon be used to detect whether a person is likely to develop Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS. Russian scientists have developed a VR test which they claim can detect within 10 minutes whether a person will develop neurological conditions that include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The study conducted by Russian researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University and Siberian State Medical University uses a combination of the Microsoft motions sensing device Kinect and Google Glass along with a mathematical model devised by the scientists. Importantly the scientists state that the test can detect the neurological diseases in time for them to be treated.
Participants in the study wear the Google Glass hesitate and then look into virtual reality environment. The patients are tested for how well they are able to adjust to a sloping virtual reality environment. If a person is suffering from the early onset of one of these neurological conditions they are unlikely to be able to keep their balance.
The reasons that the test works is based on our sense of balance and movement. The systems that coordinate your sense of balance and movement do so automatically. If these systems are faltering then it may be due to a person developing neurodegenerative diseases.
Testing is important according to the Russian researchers because by the time that someone is able to detect the condition int themselves they will already have lost enough nerve cells that it is past the point where they may recover.