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Enhancing balance in older adults via noisy Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation

36 months
Approved budget:
Professor Denise Taylor
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Feasibility Study
Lay summary
As we get older our balance deteriorates and risk of falling increases, whilst there are many possible reasons for this it is commonly associated with poor postural control and reduced capacity to integrate multiple sensory inputs in the Central Nervous System, all of which are important for balance. We plan to use a sub-sensory threshold stimulation delivered to the vestibular system (noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation) that aims to boost weak sensory signals arising in the vestibular system such that they can be utilised in balance. We will combine this non-invasive brain stimulation with an established balance rehabilitation programme to see if we can enhance the effects of the rehabilitation programme with the brain stimulation. This feasibility study will address issues around participant recruitment, outcome measure selection, intervention and research procedure acceptability and a preliminary evaluation of response to the intervention. This work will inform the development of a large RCT.