Is vestibular rehabilitation beneficial in MS?

Microscope in a lab

Professor Jonathan Marsden

University of Plymouth

£299,931 in collaboration with the Chartered Society of Phyiotherapists Charitable Trust

About the project

Our vestibular system is found in our brain and inner ear, and controls balance. For about 20% of people with MS, this system goes wrong, causing symptoms like dizziness, the sensation of spinning and feeling off balance.

Special physiotherapy exercises, known as vestibular rehabilitation, can retrain the way the brain works. We know it can help to treat vestibular problems in general, and our researchers want to understand the benefits it could have for people with MS.

In this project, people with MS who have vestibular problems will go through one of two types of vestibular rehabilitation, either through weekly sessions with a physiotherapist or by following exercises in a booklet.

Our researchers want to see which method of rehabilitation is more effective, and if the results change based on the type of vestibular problem.

How will it help people with MS?

Vestibular problems are common in MS, but right now we don’t know how best to manage or treat it.

This project will help us to understand the benefits of rehabilitation, and reveal whether some causes of dizziness are easier to treat than others.

We hope the results will help to uncover ways to increase diagnosis of vestibular problems in MS, which can be overlooked.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to the services and support they need to live well with MS. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.

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£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette