alexa Abstract | A Comparison Between Oculomotor Rehabilitation and Vestibular Electrical Stimulation in Unilateral Peripheral Vestibular Deficit

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Rehabilitation therapy is proved to be effective in reducing disability in patients with persistent symptoms of disequilibrium after acute unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of oculomotor rehabilitation (group 2) on static balance and a dizziness handicap and to compare those with the effects to vestibular electrical stimulation (group 1). Before and after therapy, we tested 28 patients, using static posturography and the dizziness handicap inventory short form. After therapy, all subjects reported a reduction of symptoms ( p  .00019). In group 1, the reductions seen in eyes-opened length of the oscillations and eyes-opened and eyes-closed surface of the body sway were statistically significant, respectively ( p  .04; p  .02; p  .02). Group 2 patients revealed better stability on all parameters, and the reductions of eyes-opened length and of eyes-opened correlation function between length and surface were statistically significant ( p  .01 and p  .01, respectively). Analysis of the equilibrium system subcomponents did not show any variation. Oculomotor exercises, employed in most rehabilitative protocols and including head movements to improve vestibular adaptation, have proved to reduce the perceived overall impairment and postural sway in patients with recent unilateral vestibular disorders, even though the disorders are not associated with head movements. Comparison of our two study groups did not show any significant difference, revealing that both forms of therapy are effective.

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Author(s): Stefania Barozzi Federica Di Berardino Elena Arisi and Antonio Cesarani


Dizziness Handicap Inventory, oculomotor rehabilitation, posturography, static balance, unilateral peripheral vestibular deficit, vestibular electrical stimulation

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