Virtual reality testing helps diagnose brain trauma

Head Rehab helps heal older adults

Movies and video games in 3-D can entertain our kids, but now similar technology is helping diagnose brain trauma.
A Clearwater medical practice is using virtual reality testing with older folks and giving us a new look at brain function.
Two years ago, reality for Diane Densmore felt bleak.
"I fell coming out of a restaurant and cracked my head pretty bad," she said.
Her MRI showed the possibility of serious damage, so she went to Brain Fitness Centers of Florida and started using virtual reality to help healing.
"A huge number of people come to us because they're older and they've got multiple problems and we've got to figure out what are those problems, what can be treated medically, what is the expectation for the future?" said Dr. Stephen Scranton, internal medicine doctor.
This is the first spot in our area to use Head Rehab virtual reality testing  to figure out what may be causing problems for some older folks. It measures balance and spatial relations in a 15-minute test. 
"It tells you how bad the balance really is or really it’s not so bad and perhaps it’s related to something else, their spatial memory, it gives a good idea of why they’re getting lost when they're driving or why they keep losing their keys or their purse," Scranton said.
Richard Chartrand started a brain fitness regime after chemotherapy caused memory loss. Now he's survived cancer and the side effects.
"Getting old and not remembering how to do things is not an excuse. Age isn't an excuse. The technology is here," Richard Chartrand said.
Scranton said this therapy is covered by insurance.


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