Vestibular rehabilitation strategies mostly require a long-lasting training in stance conditions, which is finally not always successful. The individualized training in everyday-life conditions with an intuitive tactile neurofeedback stimulus seems to be a more promising approach. Hence, the present study was aimed at investigating the efficacy of a new vibrotactile neurofeedback system for vestibular rehabilitation.Study Design
One hundred five patients who experience one of the following balance disorders for more than 12 months were included in the study: canal paresis, otolith disorder, removal of an acoustic neuroma, microvascular compression syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and presbyvertigo.Interventions
Vibrotactile neurofeedback training was performed daily (15 min) over 2 weeks with the Vertiguard system in those 6 tasks of the Standard Balance Deficit Test with the most prominent deviations from the normative values.Main Outcome Measures
Trunk and ankle sway, dizziness handicap inventory, and vestibular symptom score were measured in the verum and placebo group before the training, on the last training day and 3 months later.Results
A significant reduction in trunk and ankle sway as well as in the subjective symptom scores were observed in the verum group. Such an effect could not be found in any of the outcome parameters of the placebo group.Conclusion
The vibrotactile neurofeedback training applied in the present study is a highly efficient method for the reduction of body sway in different balance disorders. Because the rehabilitation program is easy to perform, not exhausting, and time saving, elderly patients and those with serious, long-lasting balance problems also can participate successfully.