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The nGVS study for bilateral vestibular disorders

36 months
Approved budget:
Professor Denise Taylor
Dr Rachael Taylor
Professor Paul Smith
Associate Professor Yiwen Zheng
Dr Usman Rashid
Mrs Ruth McLaren
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
The inner ear, or vestibular system, is important for the maintenance of balance. Containing specialised receptors, it detects head movement in three-dimensions. This information combines with information from vision and sensors in the limbs, allowing us to move around safely. When vestibular information is lacking people experience persistent unsteadiness and blurred vision and are at a high risk of falling. Bilateral vestibular loss has a significant negative effect on people's function and quality of life. Standard rehabilitation approaches have limited effect. This research investigates the use of a promising neuromodulatory intervention, noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (nGVS), in which subsensory electrical stimulation is applied over the mastoid processes to enhance vestibular function. Phase 1 personalises and optimises the stimulation parameters. Phase 2 is a clinical trial investigating the effect of the nGVS when combined with balance rehabilitation. This extends the work of our team in nGVS for people with vestibular disorders.