Vision and motion simulators similar to those used by fighter pilots and astronauts can provide relief from the symptoms of chronic dizziness, researchers at Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and Imperial College London report in the Journal of Neurology*.
Patients with a history of balance problems, including dizziness and vertigo, show up to 50% improvement in the frequency and intensity of dizziness after attending a series of ‘simulator therapy’ sessions. The sessions combine rotating disk, spinning chair and video-based exercises that create the illusion of movement. The treatment strengthens the visual input to the brain, improving balance and reducing dizziness.
“Input from your muscles and joints, your inner ear and your eyes make up the triad of sensory information your body needs to stay balanced,” explains Professor Adolfo Bronstein, lead author and head of the department of neurotology at Charing Cross Hospital in London. “In patients with inner ear damage, we thought that by strengthening the other inputs this would lead to a reduction in dizziness. We are very excited that the results of this trial bear this out, and that these simulator exercises, when combined with physiotherapy, strengthen the sensory input the brain receives which allows correct balance to be maintained.”
Simon Wilde | alfa
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