Pediatric Balance and Vestibular Disorders Laboratory (BVD)

Current research projects involve analysis of Gait and Vestibular function in a prospectively constructed clinical database of patients with balance and vestibular disorders analyzed by the multidisciplinary Pediatric Balance Disorders Program at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Comparisons are being made between subjective measures of gross motor development and dynamic balance (gait) through the straight line-walking test. Diagnostic sub-groups are currently being analyzed and publication prepared for a report on balance function in pediatric migraine/benign recurrent vertigo of childhood patients. A multi-site study of the vestibular effects of myringotomy with tube placement on the balance function of children with serous otitis media is currently under way. This Nemours funded protocol is shared with the clinical laboratory in Nemours, Jacksonville. Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Morlet, researchers are studying subjective and objective balance disorders in children with Chiari type I malformation. This study is designed to establish the level of subjective balance complaints and objective balance problems in pediatric patients with a specific type of brain malformation. Ongoing work is focusing on normative data for the vestibular evoked myogenic potential including preparation of a collaborative grant with industry to develop a galvanically evoked vestibular myogenic potential. A course was presented at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology Annual Meeting in Chicago in collaboration with scientists from the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children addressing vestibular disorders in children. Finally, audiological and vestibular characteristics of children with inner ear anomalies are being assessed to characterize the vestibular and balance function in children with inner-ear anomalies and to describe how these correlate with the degree and type of hearing loss. This work is being done in collaboration with the Auditory Physiology and Psychoacoustics Laboratory.