• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 56s

Virtual reality testing for brain fitness

By Ivanhoe Newswire 10:08 AM May 27, 2016
CLEARWATER, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) –

About 17 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year. It can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt. But the brain can also suffer when it’s not being used effectively, and now doctors are using technology that’s behind 3-D movies and video games to find out what is going on inside the body’s command center.

Needlepoint usually keeps Sharon Boggs on point. But after she retired she got off her mark and so did her brain.

Boggs told Ivanhoe, “I was having difficulty finding words that I wanted to use. I was hesitating in my conversation.”

It was a big red flag for someone who has a family history of dementia. So Boggs slipped on 3-d glasses for virtual reality testing at the Brain Fitness Centers of Florida. Finding her way through a maze revealed a lot about her brain waves.

Stephen Scranton, M.D., F.A.C.P., an internist at the Brain Fitness Centers of Florida in Clearwater, Florida explained, “Virtual reality testing is a good example of the changes occurring with brain rehab and diagnosis of brain disorders.”

Dr. Scranton said the virtual reality test can measure brain function in minutes, with a 90 percent accuracy rate.

“It is able to tell us impairment of special memory, balance and other domains that can’t be measured by standard neurocognitive testing that we would otherwise use,” Dr. Scranton detailed.

This same 3-D technology can also be used on athletes to test for concussions as they’re taken off the field.

Dr. Scranton told Ivanhoe, “They will be able to be tested and they won’t be sent back in with an injury.”

But for patients with memory concerns, like Boggs, it’s a test that can make a noticeable difference even in ordinary situations.

“I have really felt more confident all around in my daily activities,” said Boggs.

Dr. Scranton said the test costs about $100 and is usually covered by insurance. He said if a primary family member has neurological issues, others should be tested so doctors can have a baseline to go by. This technology was developed by Penn State researchers.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Emily Maza Gleason, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Brent Sucher, Editor; Travis Bell, Videographer.

Latest Stories

  • OJ Simpson granted parole in Nevada robbery

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 11:00

    LOVELOCK, Nev. (AP) – O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and […]

  • House backs King Cove road in remote Alaska wildlife refuge

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 10:47

    WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has approved legislation allowing a proposed road through a remote national wildlife refuge in Alaska that was rejected by the Obama administration. A bill approved Thursday would grant a land exchange allowing Alaska to build the road between two rural communities, King Cove and Cold Bay. They sit near the […]

  • News

    Research ships find Bering Sea crab boat in sinking with 6 missing

    by Associated Press on Jul 20, 10:19

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Federal research ships have found a crab boat that sank with six men on board in the Bering Sea. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the F/V Destination, a 98-foot crab boat that disappeared Feb. 11, was found upright in 250 feet of water off St. George Island. No bodies […]

  • News

    Safeway drug theft puts focus on delayed reporting issues, DEA says

    by Steffi Lee on Jul 20, 8:25

    Drug Enforcement Administration officials say a recent $3 million settlement paid by the Safeway grocery chain, prompted by opioids missing from an Alaska pharmacy, highlights the need for a documented trail of the supply and distribution chain of all medications from pharmacies. The fine settles allegations by the Department of Justice that Safeway did not […]

  • News

    SUV accidentally stuck on South Anchorage tracks struck by train

    by Chris Klint on Jul 20, 5:37

    A sport-utility vehicle was struck by an Alaska Railroad train early Thursday in South Anchorage, police said. No injuries were reported in the collision involving a Chevrolet Blazer just before 2 a.m., according to police dispatchers. The wreck occurred at a railroad crossing on Arctic Boulevard just north of Arctic Spur Road. Police spokesman MJ […]

  • Lifestyle

    STDs on the rise in Alaska

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 19, 20:46

    New numbers from the state show sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in Alaska. Alaska already has some of the highest rates in the country. Chlamydia rose half a percent from 2015 to 2016, with about 5,700 new cases reported. Of those cases, 79 percent are from people under the age of 29. Chlamydia […]

  • News

    Assemblyman objects to new shelter downtown

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jul 19, 19:28

    Downtown Assemblyman Christopher Constant said on Wednesday, enough is enough when it comes to putting more services for the homeless downtown. Constant was reacting to a plan to open a new shelter on B Street, also in downtown Anchorage. Anchorage Homeless Coordinator Nancy Burke said the city wants to lease a former halfway house near […]

  • Politics

    Joe Balash gets Federal appointment by Trump administration

    by KTVA Web Staff on Jul 19, 18:50

    President Trump has nominated a key Alaskan to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Land and Mineral management. Wednesday the Trump administration announced the nomination for Joe Balash, chief of staff to Senator Dan Sullivan to take on the job as Secretary of the Interior, Land and Mineral Management. Senator Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) praises […]