Asociacion Parkinson, Madrid, Espana
Efficacy of virtual reality on balance and gait in multiple sclerosis. Systematic review of randomized controlled trials
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease that causes gait abnormalities and a deficit in balance control in the vast majority of people affected by it. Virtual reality has been proposed as a complementary approach to conventional physiotherapeutic treatment as a way of improving these variables.
To assess the real efficacy of this approach compared to other neurorehabilitation therapies, or no intervention, in MS.
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was conducted. Studies of the last five years that compare virtual reality with conventional treatment or no intervention, on balance and/or gait, in adults with MS, were included. PEDro scale was used to assess methodological quality and the Oxford scale to determine the level of evidence and grades of recommendations.
Eight studies met the eligibility criteria. For balance, the efficacy of virtual reality is, at least, comparable as conventional training. For gait, virtual reality seems not to be superior in improving the speed, compared with the other types of interventions assessed. Methodological quality of studies was low-moderate.
Virtual reality is as effective as conventional training for improving balance in people with MS. No data suggests that virtual reality is superior to other interventions in improving gait speed. For other gait parameters, virtual reality's efficacy remains unknown.