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Clinical Application of the Vestibular Stimulation Effect on Balance Disorders with Dementia

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

Kiyotaka Nakamagoe*, Shiori Yamada, Rio Kawakami, Takami Maeno, Tadachika Koganezawa and Akira Tamaoka   Pages 1 - 7 ( 7 )

Abstract:


Background: In a previous study on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), we showed that vestibular dysfunction derived from cerebral disorders contributes to balance disorders. No previous clinical study has attempted to prevent the progression of balance disorders in dementia patients through vestibular stimulation using an air caloric device.

Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to delay the progression of balance disorders by inducing vestibular compensation, specifically by utilizing the effect of vestibular stimulation to activate the cerebrum.

Methods: Fifteen individuals were randomized and classified into a stimulation group or a nonstimulation group. Eight AD patients underwent vestibular stimulation every 2 weeks for 6 months in the stimulation group. Seven AD patients participated in the nonstimulation group (the control group). Both groups were subsequently evaluated using a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), stepping test, caloric test, and smooth pursuit eye movement test just before starting the study and 6 months later.

Results: For balance parameters, the various tests did not show any significant differences between the two groups. However, in the stepping test, the decline rate tended to be higher in the nonstimulation group than in the stimulation group. The stimulation group’s rate of decline in MMSE scores was lower than that of the nonstimulation group (p=0.015). No adverse events were tracked during the present study.

Conclusion: Repeated vestibular stimulation might help patients retain greater balance and higher function. To prove these effects, the future clinical application will require an increased number of cases and longer periods of vestibular stimulation. This study showed that vestibular stimulation by air caloric device is safe and tolerable in patients with AD.

Keywords:

Alzheimer's disease, vestibular stimulation, electronystagmography, visual suppression, smooth pursuit, vestibular cortex.

Affiliation:

Department of Neurology, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Department of Neurology, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Department of Neurology, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Department of Primary Care and Medical Education, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Department of Physiology, Division of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Department of Neurology, Division of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki



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