VRWalk Trial

What is the research study about?

Many people with spinal cord injury (SCI) experience neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is often described as sharp, burning, or electric. You also probably know that ‘traditional’ treatments often do not do a good job at reducing neuropathic pain. Therefore, it is important to see if ‘non-traditional’ treatments might work. Scientists think that neuropathic pain occurs in SCI because the sensations coming from the eyes and up the spinal cord to the brain do not match what the brain thinks it told the body to do. This ‘mis-match’ may result in changes in the brain that make neuropathic pain possible. Virtual reality walking reduces this ‘mis-match.’ It does this by creating the ‘illusion’ that you are walking. The brain then thinks it is telling your body to walk AND the information coming from the eyes matches its instructions. This ‘matching’ may reverse the brain changes that made neuropathic pain possible.

Register your interest

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our research team: neurorecoveryresearch@unsw.edu.au.

What does the research involve?

 

In this trial, we will examine how virtual reality walking can affect your neuropathic pain. If you participate, you will be randomly assigned (like the toss of a coin) to receive either VR (Virtual Reality) Game 1 or VR (Virtual Reality) Game 2. You have an equal chance of being assigned to either game. It is important for you to know that we do not know which of these games is better at decreasing neuropathic pain, which is why we are doing the trial. You will be required to play the virtual reality walking game for 10 mins, twice a day for 10-14 days. You will also be required to complete a series of questionnaires at 6 different timepoints. Each series of questionnaires will take between 20–40 mins to complete. Your total time commitment will be approximately 12.5 months.

 

Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) are currently recruiting for the VRWalk trial.

Register your interest by completing the form.