Once-daily incremental vestibular-ocular reflex adaptation training in patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction: A 1-week randomized controlled study

Carlo N. Rinaudo, Michael C. Schubert, Phillip D. Cremer, William V.C. Figtree, Christopher J. Todd, Americo A. Migliaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Purpose: This was a double-blinded randomized controlled study to investigate the effects of once-daily incremental vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) training over 1 week in people with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction. Methods: A total of 24 patients with peripheral vestibular hypofunction were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 13) or control (n = 11) groups. Training consisted of either x1 (control) or incremental VOR adaptation exercises, delivered once daily for 15 minutes over 4 days in 1 week. Primary outcome: VOR gain with video-oculography. Secondary outcomes: Compensatory saccades measured using scleral search coils, dynamic visual acuity, static balance, gait, and subjective symptoms. Between-group differences were analyzed with a linear mixed-model with repeated measures. Results: There was a difference in the VOR gain increase between groups (P < 0.05). The incremental training group gain increased during active (13.4% ± 16.3%) and passive (12.1% ± 19.9%) head impulse testing (P < 0.02), whereas it did not for the control group (P = 0.59). The control group had reduced compensatory saccade latency (P < 0.02). Both groups had similarly improved dynamic visual acuity scores (P < 0.05). Both groups had improved dynamic gait index scores (P < 0.002); however, only the incremental group had improved scores for the 2 walks involving head oscillations at approximately 2 Hz (horizontal: P < 0.05; vertical: P < 0.02), increased gait speed (P < 0.02), and step length (P < 0.01) during normal gait, and improved total Dizziness Handicap Inventory (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Our results suggest incremental VOR adaptation significantly improves gain, gait with head rotation, balance during gait, and symptoms in patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction more so than conventional x1 gaze-stabilizing exercises. Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see the Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at: http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A336).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-100
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Gaze stability
  • Vestibular hypofunction
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Vestibulo-ocular reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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