Can pre-screening vestibulocerebellar involvement followed by targeted training improve the outcomes of balance in cerebellar ataxia?

Stanley J. Winser, Micheal C. Schubert, Anne Y.Y. Chan, Priya Kannan, Susan L. Whitney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Balance problems and frequent falls are common among clients with Cerebellar Ataxia (CA). CA is not a disease by itself but a collection of symptoms due to the involvement of cerebellum or its pathways. Presently the treatment for balance problems for CA is not standardized. Interventions available to improve balance are not specific to symptoms presentation. Functionally the cerebellum is divided into the spinocerebellum, vestibulocerebellum and corticocerebellum. Each functional zone has a distinct role in maintaining balance. Therefore, the presentation of symptoms will vary according to the functional zone involved. Pre-screening clients with CA for identifying the part of cerebellum involved will facilitate clinicians to provide tailor-made interventions for targeting specific symptoms for better outcomes. Pre-screening clients with CA according to the part of cerebellum involved is not in practice and our study will introduce this concept. We hypothesize pre-screening participants with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) for the involvement vestibulocerebellum followed by prescribing vestibulocerebellum targeted exercises will have better outcomes when compared to conventional balance training. We plan to conduct two related studies. In study 1 we will screen participants with CA for the involvement of vestibulocerebellum. In study 2, the effects of vestibulocerebellum targeted balance exercises on balance will be studied. We will assess the Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) deviation and postural sway pattern to screen participants into people with and without vestibulocerebellar involvement. SVV deviation will be estimated using a computerized Subjective Visual Vertical (cSVV) device and postural sway pattern will be assessed using the limits of stability program of the Bertec

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Balance
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Subjective visual vertical
  • Vestibulocerebellum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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