A virtual reality based system for controlled study of cataplexy

Kurt Augustine, Bruce Cameron, Jon Camp, Lois Krahn, Richard Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-462
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume4681
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
EventMedical Imaging 2002 Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures and Display - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 24 2002Feb 26 2002

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Keywords

  • Cataplexy and Narcolepsy
  • Clinical Evaluation
  • Emotional Response
  • Simulation
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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