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Neuroscience assignment analysing the significant role of virtual reality in the management and treatment of dementia


Task: The evidence and applications of virtual reality are still limited and so more research funds should be given to studies using cellular and animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders. Choose one neuropsychiatric disorder and discuss this assertion using scientific evidence to support your argument in the neuroscience assignment.


Throughout the world, it has been found that approximately 50 million people are suffering from the demerits of dementia. It is suspected that the statistics or the rate of dementia will increase three times by the year 2050 and will double in the coming 10 years. The worldwide cost of dementia and associated care and treatment is calculated to increase to $2 trillion in the next 10 years. As per the neuroscience assignmentfindings, there isa wide range of research and evidence which highlights the fact that virtual reality has been imposing a significant and increased role in patients suffering from dementia as well as caregivers in the management of symptoms associated with psychotic disorders. Virtual reality has also ensured a significant role in reducing symptoms such as depression and anxiety in different mental health disorders. The neuroscience assignmentresearch discussion will focus on analyzing the significant role of virtual reality in the management and treatment of dementia. The neuroscience assignment will also focus on analyzing and evaluating the significance of virtual reality in comparison to cellular or animal models that are used as basic research for mental health complications and associated factors.

Virtual reality explained in the neuroscience assignment
Virtual reality is known to be a process where stimulation is generated with the help of a computer focused on the three-dimensional surrounding which helps an individual to interact with the outwardly real environment. As per the neuroscience assignmentthe virtual reality system focuses on using different technologies to generate a realistic environment such as a multi-projected environment or head-mounted display. This technology creates a realistic environment which generates stimulations, images as well as sounds which connect an individual to the real environment. It focuses on developing a surrounding environment for patients which is parallel to both interactive and immersive nature(Parsons, 2015).

Animal model or cellular model
In the field of research and study, the most frequently and accountably used animal model or cellular model includes transgenic mice for the assessment and evaluation of factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease or related symptoms. It is found in the neuroscience assignmentthat transgenic mice are used as it overexpresses the genes present in human being and thus helps in analysing the factors associated with mental health complications similar to a human being. It helps in evaluating and analysing the pathogenesis of the disorder and carrying out preclinical studies.

Virtual reality bringing a positive clinical impact to dementia
According to space, interventions based on virtual reality have ensured significant use in health promotion. As per the neuroscience assignmentit focuses on enhancing and improving mobility in patients, reducing the risk of falls as well as enhancing cognitive abilities in patients suffering from dementia. It also has a significant role in reducing the risk of development of dementia when provided at an initial stage. Virtual reality focuses on rewiring the connections within the brain and enhances the health of the brain to promote relaxation, resilience and effective recovery. Another research carried out by Kim, Pang & Kim, (2019), highlights that virtual reality used in the case of relaxation and stimulation focuses on reducing stress and anxiety in patients with mental health conditions. It has ensured a reduction in anxiety stress as well as phobia and promotes behavioural therapy in patients suffering from dementia.

Effectiveness of its use
According to the research carried out byRus-Calafell et al., (2018), it has been found in the neuroscience assignmentthat virtual reality provides clinicians and researchers with the ability to design and develop a realistic environment for patients suffering from mental health conditions such as dementia. This realistic environment is used to assess and evaluate the real-time cognitive, behavioural, emotional as well as psychological response of the patient within the particular environment. Virtual reality helps in recreating the social event for the patient either in a laboratory during research or assisting professionals in understanding the psychotic nature of the mental health condition. It also provides the ability to assess symptoms related to the illness as well as an appropriate treatment for the disorder.

Quality of the evidencediscussed in the neuroscience assignment
On comparison and evaluation of the usefulness, appropriateness and strength of evidence collected from virtual reality as well as cellular and animal model research it has been found that virtual reality is still counted as an experimental approach whereas animal model has been used as a common research method for the past few decades. Virtual reality where focuses on collecting evidence based on the impact of stimulation that has been provided to the patient using a realistic environment whereas the animal model focuses on assessing and evaluating the pathogenesis of health conditions as well as the impact of treatment provided to the sample. As per the neuroscience assignment evidence that is collected from animal models focuses on clinical trials of certain newly developed drugs as well as ensures preclinical trials of identified treatments. Whereas virtual reality evaluates the effectiveness of the treatment in humans using realistic treatment as well as the response of patients to the provided drug.

Compare and contrast the usefulness, appropriateness and strength of evidence
The evidence that has been used in the evaluation of the research topic is extracted from peer-reviewed journals and articles that have conducted research on virtual reality and its effectiveness in the field of mental health research. It is found in the neuroscience assignmentthat the evidence is collected from a realistic approach where primary research, as well as secondary evaluation of data, is carried out by researchers and clinicians. Also, the research articles follow appropriate research methodology and structure while completing the study which enhances the quality of the evidence that has been extracted.

Next step(s) for science and funding agencies
Focusing on the collected evidence and analysis of the role of virtual reality in clinical research as well as the treatment of dementia it can be stated that science, as well as fund providers in the field of research, focus on involving virtual reality. As per the neuroscience assignmentit should be necessary that increased funds and consideration should be provided to researchers whouse cellular and animal models for study. It will provide them with an opportunity to involve virtual reality in their research alongside the basing research model to evaluate evidence in a much better and more realistic manner.

It is concluded from the neuroscience assignmentthat more consideration to cellular and animal models should also be considered to ensure a wider range of evidence from research carried out using transgenic mice which overexpress human genes and related brain functions. Virtual reality, as well as the involvement of cellular and animal models in the field of research and clinical study of dementia, should be considered to analyze in-depth factors associated with the development, progression as well as treatment of the medical condition.


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