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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 31

of 'Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis'

Vestibular exercises improve central vestibulospinal compensation after vestibular neuritis.
Strupp M, Arbusow V, Maag KP, Gall C, Brandt T
Neurology. 1998;51(3):838.
OBJECTIVE AND BACKGROUND: Animal experiments have shown that central vestibular compensation of unilateral peripheral vestibular lesions can be improved by vestibular exercises. There are, however, no equivalent clinical studies on the efficacy of such specific physiotherapy on acute unilateral peripheral vestibular lesions in humans.
DESIGN AND METHODS: To quantify the differential effects of specific vestibular exercises on central compensation in patients with an acute/subacute unilateral vestibular lesion (vestibular neuritis), we determined the time course of recovery of 1) the ocular torsion (OT) for the vestibulo-ocular system, 2) the subjective visual vertical (SVV) for perception, and 3) the total sway path (SP) values for postural control in 19 patients with and 20 patients without vestibular exercises. All patients had a persisting peripheral vestibular deficit for at least 30 days (statistical end point).
RESULTS: Although normalization of OT and SVV was similar in the control and physiotherapy groups, the total SP values on day 30 after symptom onset differed significantly: 3.2 +/- 1.9 m/min in the physiotherapy group and 16.9 +/- 6.1 m/min in the control group (ANOVA, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: This prospective clinical study suggests that specific vestibular exercises improve vestibulospinal compensation in patients with acute peripheral vestibular lesions.
Department of Neurology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Klinikum Grosshadern, Germany.