INTRODUCTION: About 66% of stroke survivors present with cognitive or physical consequences, which are often complicated by emotional instability. Alexithymia is defined as "a difficulty in identifying and describing feelings", although there is no consensus on the exact diagnosis and treatment. PATIENT CONCERNS: A 36-year-old right-handed man, affected by ischemic stroke (which occurred about 3 months before admission) involving the right hemisphere (ie, the fronto-parieto-temporal region) with left hemiparesis and behavioral abnormalities, came to our observation for intensive rehabilitation. He was treated unsuccessfully with a traditional and behavioral training. DIAGNOSIS: Alexithymia due to ischemic stroke. INTERVENTIONS: Then, a specific combined protocol using computerized emotional and virtual emotional training was applied in a semi-immersive virtual reality environment using the BTS-Nirvana device. OUTCOMES: At the end of this novel rehabilitation approach, the patient showed a significant improvement in emotional skills, cognitive performances, and coping strategies. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual reality, in addition to standard therapy, may be a valuable tool in improving emotional abnormalities due to brain lesions, such as alexithymia.
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