Improvement of motor functions by noisy vestibular stimulation in central neurodegenerative disorders
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Through the cerebellar vermis, the vestibular nerves are known to influence the basal ganglia and the limbic system. By means of noisy galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS), it may be possible to ameliorate movement disorders, particularly akinesic symptoms, in patients with central neurodegenerative disorders. We evaluated the effect of 24-hour noisy GVS on a power-law temporal autocorrelation exponent of daytime wrist activity, separately for higher (local maxima) and lower (local minima) levels of activity, in 14 hospitalized patients. The power-law exponent for the local maxima was significantly (p < 0.002) lower with the noisy GVS than with sham stimulation, suggestive of more frequent switching behavior from low to high levels of activity or less severe akinesia. The noisy GVS may thus potentially improve certain motor dysfunctions in patients with distinct central neurodegenerative diseases.
Key wordsParkinson’s disease multiple system atrophy physical activity power-law exponent stochastic resonance
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