Phobic postural vertigo: body sway during vibratory proprioceptive stimulation

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Phobic postural vertigo patients might rely more on proprioceptive than visual cues to regulate stance. We tested 14 phobic postural vertigo patients and 24 healthy subjects with posturography during quiet stance and periods of vibratory proprioceptive calf muscle stimulation, both with eyes open and closed. During quiet stance phobic postural vertigo patients showed higher torque variance than healthy subjects, especially above 0.1 Hz.Vibratory proprioceptive stimulation increased the differences between healthy subjects and phobic postural vertigo patients. The patients were less able to use vision to counteract vibration-induced movements. Phobic postural vertigo patients are more sensitive to proprioceptive disturbances than healthy subjects are, and less apt to use visual information to control upright stance. This might be part of an anxious mode of balance control.

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