University of Louisville

Poster Title

Mental Imagery and Virtual Reality’s Impact on Blood Pressure Regulation For People with Spinal Cord Injury

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Exercise Science

Institution 22-23

University of Louisville

KY House District #

42

KY Senate District #

35

Department

UofL Health and Sport Sciences

Abstract

Mental Imagery and Virtual Reality’s Impact on Blood Pressure Regulation

For People with Spinal Cord Injury

Kaden Kozlowski1 ; Rachel Torres2; Camilo Castillo MD3;

Addie Wanner BS1; Daniela Terson de Paleville PhD1,2,4

INTRODUCTION: People with spinal cord injuries (SCI) often suffer from orthostatic intolerance with symptoms of dizziness, syncope, cognitive slowing, nausea and headache. Mental imagery has been successfully used to modulate blood pressure (BP) and other of these symptoms in people with autonomic dysfunction. Our goal is to determine if immersive virtual reality (VR) is an effective non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive intervention to improve orthostatic intolerance in people with SCI.

OBJECTIVES: Determine the effects of immersive and mental imagery on BP and heart rate (HR) of people with SCI and non-injured controls for practical application of non-pharmaceutical orthostatic hypotension management.

SETTING: University of Louisville Novak Lab in Health and Sport Sciences Department

METHODS: A convenience sample of six (n=6) people with SCI, 3 men, 3 women, mean height 171 cm (± 11.5), weight 86.9 Kg (± 24.7) and five (n=5) non-injured volunteers, height 170 cm (± 12.3), weight 70.2 Kg (± 16) participated in this study. Participants completed the conditions in 2 separate visits and were randomly assigned to receive either mental imagery or VR conditions first, to avoid familiarization responses. Each participant engaged in a seated immersive VR session as well as a seated mental imagery session. Cardiovascular parameters (i.e., HR, BP, electrocardiogram activity) were continuously recorded using a telemetry (Caretaker, city) throughout the session. Participants were instructed in either increase or decrease mean arterial pressure (MAP) by 5 mmHg. Verbal feedback regarding the attainment of goal was given at the end of each cycle.

RESULTS: Both, VR and mental imagery were effective on modulate BP during relaxing or arousing conditions. However, VR was more effective in modulating MAP than mental imagery in participants with and without SCI.

CONCLUSIONS: Immersive VR is an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention for managing orthostatic hypotension among people with SCI.

Affiliations:

1- UofL Health and Sport Sciences

2- UofL Interdisciplinary Program in Translational Neurosciences

3- UofL Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

4- UofL Department of Physiology & Biophysics

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Mental Imagery and Virtual Reality’s Impact on Blood Pressure Regulation For People with Spinal Cord Injury

Mental Imagery and Virtual Reality’s Impact on Blood Pressure Regulation

For People with Spinal Cord Injury

Kaden Kozlowski1 ; Rachel Torres2; Camilo Castillo MD3;

Addie Wanner BS1; Daniela Terson de Paleville PhD1,2,4

INTRODUCTION: People with spinal cord injuries (SCI) often suffer from orthostatic intolerance with symptoms of dizziness, syncope, cognitive slowing, nausea and headache. Mental imagery has been successfully used to modulate blood pressure (BP) and other of these symptoms in people with autonomic dysfunction. Our goal is to determine if immersive virtual reality (VR) is an effective non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive intervention to improve orthostatic intolerance in people with SCI.

OBJECTIVES: Determine the effects of immersive and mental imagery on BP and heart rate (HR) of people with SCI and non-injured controls for practical application of non-pharmaceutical orthostatic hypotension management.

SETTING: University of Louisville Novak Lab in Health and Sport Sciences Department

METHODS: A convenience sample of six (n=6) people with SCI, 3 men, 3 women, mean height 171 cm (± 11.5), weight 86.9 Kg (± 24.7) and five (n=5) non-injured volunteers, height 170 cm (± 12.3), weight 70.2 Kg (± 16) participated in this study. Participants completed the conditions in 2 separate visits and were randomly assigned to receive either mental imagery or VR conditions first, to avoid familiarization responses. Each participant engaged in a seated immersive VR session as well as a seated mental imagery session. Cardiovascular parameters (i.e., HR, BP, electrocardiogram activity) were continuously recorded using a telemetry (Caretaker, city) throughout the session. Participants were instructed in either increase or decrease mean arterial pressure (MAP) by 5 mmHg. Verbal feedback regarding the attainment of goal was given at the end of each cycle.

RESULTS: Both, VR and mental imagery were effective on modulate BP during relaxing or arousing conditions. However, VR was more effective in modulating MAP than mental imagery in participants with and without SCI.

CONCLUSIONS: Immersive VR is an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention for managing orthostatic hypotension among people with SCI.

Affiliations:

1- UofL Health and Sport Sciences

2- UofL Interdisciplinary Program in Translational Neurosciences

3- UofL Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

4- UofL Department of Physiology & Biophysics