Frontiers in Neurology
We previously published vestibular perceptual thresholds and performance in the Modified Romberg Test of Standing Balance in 105 healthy humans ranging from ages 18 to 80 (1). Self-motion thresholds in the dark included roll tilt about an earth-horizontal axis at 0.2 and 1 Hz, yaw rotation about an earth-vertical axis at 1 Hz, y-translation (interaural/lateral) at 1 Hz, and z-translation (vertical) at 1 Hz. In this study, we focus on multiple variable analyses not reported in the earlier study. Specifically, we investigate correlations (1) among the five thresholds measured and (2) between thresholds, age, and the chance of failing condition 4 of the balance test, which increases vestibular reliance by having subjects stand on foam with eyes closed. We found moderate correlations (0.30-0.51) between vestibular thresholds for different motions, both before and after using our published aging regression to remove age effects. We found that lower or higher thresholds across all threshold measures are an individual trait that account for about 60% of the variation in the population. This can be further distributed into two components with about 20% of the variation explained by aging and 40% of variation explained by a single principal component that includes similar contributions from all threshold measures. When only roll tilt 0.2 Hz thresholds and age were analyzed together, we found that the chance of failing condition 4 depends significantly on both (
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Karmali, Faisal; Bermúdez Rey, María Carolina; Clark, Torin K; Wang, Wei; and Merfeld, Daniel M, "Multivariate Analyses of Balance Test Performance, Vestibular Thresholds, and Age." (2017). Aerospace Engineering Sciences Faculty Contributions. 16.