J Mov Disord.  2016 Jan;9(1):40-43. 10.14802/jmd.15030.

Can Postural Instability Respond to Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation in Patients with Parkinson's Disease?

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology, Nara Medical University, Nara, Japan. hk55@naramed-u.ac.jp
  • 2Graduate School of Health Science, Kio University, Nara, Japan.

Abstract


OBJECTIVE
Galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) activates the vestibular afferents, and these changes in vestibular input exert a strong influence on the subject's posture or standing balance. In patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), vestibular dysfunction might contribute to postural instability and gait disorders.
METHODS
Current intensity was increased to 0.7 mA, and the current was applied to the patients for 20 minutes. To perform a sham stimulation, the current intensity was increased as described and then decreased to 0 mA over the course of 10 seconds. The patient's status was recorded continuously for 20 minutes with the patient in the supine position.
RESULTS
Three out of 5 patients diagnosed with PD with postural instability and/or abnormal axial posture showed a reduction in postural instability after GVS. The score for item 12 of the revised Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part 3 was decreased in these patients.
CONCLUSIONS
The mechanism of postural instability is complex and not completely understood. In 2 out of the 5 patients, postural instability was not changed in response to GVS. Nonetheless, the GVS-induced change in postural instability for 3 patients in our study suggests that GVS might be a therapeutic option for postural instability.

Keyword

Parkinson; Galvanic vestibular stimulation; Vestibular stimulation; Postural instability; Vestibular dysfunction; Posture
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