Rehabilitation for vestibular disease is a safe method to partially alleviate symptoms of vertigo. It was hypothesized that principles of military aviation vestibular desensitization procedures that have a success rate of more than 80% can be extrapolated to chronic vestibular disease as well.
The virtual reality motion base computer-assisted rehabilitation environment was used as treatment modality in 17 patients. They were exposed to sinusoidal vertical passive whole body motion in increasing intensity for a maximum of 12 sessions. The Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) was used for assessment of the subjective complaints of vertigo.
The median DHI scores of 50 points at baseline dropped to 22 points (P <.001) at follow-up. Post hoc analysis showed significant differences in outcome between measurements at baseline and at the end of the treatment, between baseline and follow-up, but not between end of treatment and follow-up.
This pilot study concerning motion-based equilibrium reprocessing therapy (MERT) shows that it is a simple, quick, and well-tolerated treatment option to alleviate symptoms in patients with chronic peripheral vestibulopathies.