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J Vestib Res. 2008;18(2-3):147-57.

Effect of vestibular rehabilitation on passive dynamic visual acuity.

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Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD, USA.


While active dynamic visual acuity (DVA) has been shown to improve with gaze stabilization exercises, we sought to determine whether DVA during passive head impulses (pDVA) would also improve following a rehabilitation course of vestibular physical therapy (VPT) in patients with unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction. VPT consisted of gaze and gait stabilization exercises done as a home exercise program. Scleral search coil was used to characterize the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex (aVOR) during pDVA before and after VPT. Mean duration of VPT was 66 +/- 24 days, over a total of 5 +/- 1.4 outpatient visits. Two of three subjects showed improvements in pDVA with a mean reduction of 43% (LogMAR 0.58 to 0.398 and 0.92 to 0.40). Our data suggest improvements in pDVA may be due in part to improvements in aVOR velocity and acceleration gains or reduced latency of the aVOR. Each subject demonstrated a reduction in the ratio of compensatory saccades to head impulses after VPT. Preliminary data suggest that active gaze stability exercises may contribute to improvements in pDVA in some individuals.

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