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17 May 2002 Virtual-reality-based system for controlled study of cataplexy
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Abstract
Cataplexy is a sudden loss of voluntary muscle control experienced by narcolepsy patients. It is usually triggered by strong, spontaneous emotions and is more common in times of stress. The Sleep Disorders Unit and the Biomedical Imaging Resource at Mayo Clinic are developing interactive display technology for reliably inducing cataplexy during clinical monitoring. The project is referred to as the Cataplexy/Narcolepsy Activation Program, or CatNAP. We have developed an automobile driving simulation that introduces humorous, surprising, and stress-inducing events and objects as the patient attempts to navigate a vehicle through a virtual town. The patient wears a head-mounted display and controls the vehicle via a driving simulator steering wheel and pedal cluster. As the patient attempts to drive through the town, various objects, sounds or conditions occur that distract, startle, frustrate or amuse. These responses may trigger a cataplectic episode, which can then be clinically evaluated. We believe CatNAP is a novel and innovative example of the effective application of virtual reality technology to study an important clinical problem that has resisted previous approaches. An evaluation phase with volunteer patients previously diagnosed with cataplexy has been completed. The prototype system is being prepared for a full clinical study.
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Kurt E. Augustine, Bruce M. Cameron, Jon J. Camp, Lois E. Krahn, and Richard A. Robb "Virtual-reality-based system for controlled study of cataplexy", Proc. SPIE 4681, Medical Imaging 2002: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display, (17 May 2002); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.466950
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