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Neurophysiol Clin. 2009 Oct-Nov;39(4-5):229-33. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

How far do patients with sensory ataxia benefit from so-called "proprioceptive rehabilitation"?

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  • 1Pôle de médecine physique et réadaptation, hôpital Rothschild, AP-HP, université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie Paris 6, 33, boulevard de Picpus, 75012 Paris, France.

Abstract

A rehabilitation program including foot sensory stimulation, balance and gait training with limited vision was performed in 24 patients with clinically defined sensory ataxia. There were 15 patients with bilateral somatosensory loss related to chronic neuropathy and nine patients with unilateral loss-related to multiple sclerosis. After training, balance control assessed using the Berg Balance Test improved similarly in both groups, and Romberg's sign disappeared in some patients, suggesting an improvement in dynamic balance and in the proprioceptive contribution. Conversely, balance assessed on a static force platform remained similar in the open-eyes condition and improved in the closed-eyes condition only in patients with unilateral sensory loss. These results show that ataxic patients can improve their balance with better results in dynamic conditions and that the relative contribution of proprioceptive and visual inputs may depend on the extent of somatosensory loss.

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