Pilot Project on External Vestibular Prosthesis in Chronic Subjective Dizziness

  • Study type:

    Interventional What is this?

    Describes the nature of a clinical study. Types include:

    • Observational study — observes people and measures outcomes without affecting results.
    • Interventional study (clinical trial) — studies new tests, treatments, drugs, surgical procedures or devices.
    • Medical records research — uses historical information collected from medical records of large groups of people to study how diseases progress and which treatments and surgeries work best.

Study IDs

  • Site IRB:

    • Rochester, Minnesota: 13-005525
  • NCT ID:

  • Sponsor Protocol Number:


About this study

This pilot study is focused on what assistance an external prosthetic device, the BalanceBelt™ can provide in the:

  1. assessment and
  2. treatment for patients with Chronic Subjective Dizziness (CSD).

The BalanceBelt has sensitive detectors for movement in the anterior/posterior and medial/lateral planes and provides the person wearing the device vibro-tactile feedback as to the persons orientation with respect to gravity. The device is a full self contained device that is comfortably worn around the waist over a light weight shirt. The device is non-FDA approved and is in its final stages of beta testing. Patients with CSD do not have permanent vestibular deficits, but underutilize vestibular signals because they develop visual or somatosensory dependence. The investigators expect the BalanceBeltTM to reset this error by providing patients with reliable motion stimuli.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. If you need assistance understanding the eligibility criteria, please contact the study team.

See eligibility criteria

Subject population: 20 patients with diagnosis of Chronic Subjective Dizziness (CSD) and 10 normal volunteers.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Subjects will be 25-70 years of age inclusive and pregnant women may participate.
  • Patients will have CSD as their primary diagnosis for the cause of their balance and dizziness complaints provided by the Behavioral Medicine Program for Dizziness, a division of the Department of Psychiatry & Psychology.
  • Normal volunteers will have a negative history of otologic & neurologic disorders and no history of dizziness and balance problems.
  • Normal volunteers will have normal findings on a screening office examination for peripheral and central vestibular system involvement (see methods for details of the examination) and screening for normal or symmetrical hearing loss of explainable origin.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients with positive indications from testing of peripheral and/or central vestibular system involvement that is felt to be influencing the symptoms reported beyond the CSD alone.
  • Patients with mobility restriction that would prevent participating in the tests or the intensive therapy trials.
  • Subjects with hearing impairment that interferes with oral communication.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact us for help.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Neil Shepard, Ph.D.

Contact us for the latest status

Neil Shepard Ph.D.