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Journal Article


Mazibrada G, Tariq S, Pérennou D, Gresty M, Greenwood R, Bronstein AM. Gait Posture 2008; 27(2): 202-208.


Sobell Department of Neurophysiology, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.


(Copyright © 2008, Elsevier Publishing)






Orientation of the body with respect to gravity is based on integration of visual, vestibular and somatosensory signals. Here, we investigated the subjective postural vertical (SPV) and visual vertical (SVV) in three patients with bilateral somatosensory deafferentation and a group of age-matched normal subjects. Our hypothesis was that the patients with bilateral somatosensory deafferentation may show tilt induced bias in the construction of their SPV, with a normal SVV. Patient 1 had a severe Guillain Barré syndrome and almost complete absence of peripheral sensation, the two other patients had a thoracic spinal injury with a sensory loss from T6-7 down. On initial testing, compared with normal subjects and the patients with spinal injury, Patient 1 had a significant bias in SPV towards the side of a preceding tilt in both directions. Several months later, after significant improvement of sensation, this tilt-induced bias in SPV had resolved completely. In addition, Patient 1 had a significantly enlarged "cone of verticality", which did not change following improvement in peripheral sensation, reflecting persisting disturbance in the perception of body verticality. In the two patients with spinal injury, bias towards the side of a preceding tilt was not significant. These findings confirm the importance of somatosensory input from the trunk to the perception of SPV in the seated position.

Language: en


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