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Vision, somatosensory, and vestibular inputs each contribute unique information regarding body position and motion contributing to postural control. This chapter focuses on vestibular contributions to postural stability, and discusses the effect of peripheral vestibular loss on balance and postural control. A method utilized to study the role of vestibular inputs is to directly stimulate the vestibular system. The effect of vestibular loss on the amplitude of muscle response at the ankle is related to several factors, the most important being the degree of deficit. Individuals with chronic unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) have the largest amplitude of muscle response, followed by those with acute UVH and individuals with bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH) had the smallest amplitude of responses. The chapter discusses the effect of eye movements on balance, and describes the role of vestibular rehabilitation (VR) in the remediation of imbalance and gaze instability.
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