Home-based computer gaming in vestibular rehabilitation: effect on gaze and balance impairment

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Reimer, Karen M.
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When vestibular sense organs suffer damage functional problems arise such as imbalance and falls as well as difficulty with gaze control, resulting in blurred vision, dizziness and feelings of disorientation. A novel computer-based rehabilitation program has been developed. Using the Gyration TM motion-sense mouse, attached to a headband, to control computer applications and games, the participants were able to interact with targets in computer games through head motion, allowing different gaze exercises to be carried out. Balance exercises can be incorporated simultaneously and progressively into the rehabilitation program. The main findings of this study revealed that using head rotation to interact with computer games coupled with demanding balance conditions resulted in substantial improvements in gaze control, standing balance and walking performance. These observations provide support that a low-cost home computer-gaming rehabilitation program is well suited to train gaze control through active and passive head motion and to concomitantly train standing balance.
vestibular, rehabilitation, telerehabilitation, computer-gaming, gaze-control, balance, peripheral vestibular