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Whitney Susan L. PhD PT NCS ATC; Sparto, Patrick J. PhD, PT; Brown, Kathryn E. MS PT NCS; Furman, Joseph M. MD, PhD; Jacobson, Jeffrey L. MS; Redfern, Mark S. PhD
Neurology Report: 2002


In this paper, the potential use of virtual reality for use with persons with vestibular disorders is discussed. The limitations of existing physical therapy for persons with vestibular disorders are detailed. Explanations are provided about why the use of virtual reality might be effective with persons with vestibular disorders. A newly designed virtual reality device, a balance near automatic virtual environment (BNAVE), was used in a pilot study to determine the effect of a moving visual scene in persons with and without vestibular pathology. The postural sway of 2 patients and 3 controls were compared. Persons were asked to stand while viewing a sinusoidal waveform on a force plate. Postural sway was increased in both young and older adults in the immersive virtual environment. These preliminary data suggest that the virtual environment produced by BNAVE was valid.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.