Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2022 Sep 13:15459683221124126. doi: 10.1177/15459683221124126. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: People with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) frequently experience dizziness and imbalance that may be caused by central vestibular system dysfunction. Vestibular rehabilitation may offer an approach for improving dysfunction in these people.
OBJECTIVE: To test the efficacy of a gaze and postural stability (GPS) retraining intervention compared to a strength and endurance (SAE) intervention in PwMS.
METHODS: About 41 PwMS, with complaints of dizziness or history of falls, were randomized to either the GPS or SAE groups. Following randomization participants completed 6-weeks of 3×/week progressive training, delivered one-on-one by a provider. Following intervention, testing was performed at the primary (6-weeks) and secondary time point (10-weeks). A restricted maximum likelihood estimation mixed effects model was used to examine changes in the primary outcome of the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) between the 2 groups at the primary and secondary time point. Similar models were used to explore secondary outcomes between groups at both timepoints.
RESULTS: Thirty-five people completed the study (17 GPS; 18 SAE). The change in the DHI at the primary time point was not statistically different between the GPS and SAE groups (mean difference = 2.33 [95% CI -9.18, 12.85]). However, both groups demonstrated significant improvement from baseline to 6-weeks (GPS -8.73; SAE -7.31). Similar results were observed for secondary outcomes and at the secondary timepoint.
CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of PwMS with complaints of dizziness or imbalance, 6-weeks of GPS training did not result in significantly greater improvements in dizziness handicap or balance compared to 6-weeks of SAE training.