Antivertiginous drug therapy does not hinder the efficacy of individualized vibrotactile neurofeedback training for vestibular rehabilitation – a randomized trial

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Abstract

Vestibular rehabilitation using individualized vibrotactile neurofeedback training (IVNT) can lead to significant improvement in the postural stability of patients with vestibular symptoms of different origins. However, some of these patients have complex, severe dizziness, meaning that a pharmacological pretreatment or parallel (to vestibular rehabilitation) treatment can help them perform the rehabilitation exercises. Hence, the present study investigated the influence of a pharmacological treatment on the efficacy of vibrotactile neurofeedback training in patients with chronic, noncompensated vestibulopathies. All participants performed IVNT for ∼10 min each day for 2 weeks. In addition, every second participant was selected randomly to receive oral medication (20 mg cinnarizine and 40 mg dimenhydrinate per tablet), taking three tables per day. Trunk and ankle sway and postural stability were measured. In addition, the dizziness handicap inventory was evaluated immediately before training on the last day of training and 6 months after training. After the 10-day period of IVNT, both groups showed a statistically significant improvement in all parameters tested. A follow-up analysis after 6 months showed a long-term efficacy for the IVNT, that is, the patients remained significantly improved in their postural stability. The antivertiginous therapy did not hinder the efficacy of the IVNT. The present results indicate that IVNT even in combination with an antivertiginous drug therapy is an effective treatment regime for patients with disabling vertigo of different origins.

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