Balance And Vestibular Program | Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation:

The Boston Children's Balance and Vestibular Program is one of only a handful of vestibular/balance programs specifically dedicated to pediatric patients in the United States. Equipped with the most cutting-edge technologies, clinicians and researchers in our program are continually conducting clinical research and exploring better ways to evaluate and diagnose many forms of childhood balance and vestibular disorders. For anyone who is interested in participating, please contact us for qualification.

Current Research Projects

  • Vestibular function in patients with Usher syndrome
  • Otolith function in children with hearing loss due to GJB2 gene/Connexin mutations
  • Clinical application of Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) testing
  • Validation of Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV) test in children
  • Vestibular migraine in pediatric population
  • Balance and vestibular function status pre- and post-cochlear implantation (CI). In conjunction with the Cochlear Implant Program in our department, we are investigating children’s balance and vestibular functionalities if they are candidates of CI, especially for those with balance concerns.

Multi-specialties Clinic for Children with Post-concussion syndrome

The Balance and Vestibular Program is a partner with the Sports Concussion Clinic. Collaborating with neurologists, ophthalmologists, physical/occupational therapists and other specialists, our clinicians provide comprehensive assessment of concussed children, particularly for those with protracted dizziness and imbalance. Appropriate therapy and training are offered after evaluation. 

Innovation in use of cutting-edge technology

The video head impulse testing (vHIT) is the most recent innovative test of vestibular system. Built on 20 years of research and development by Drs. Halmagyi and Curthoys, vHIT is becoming the new gold standard in evaluating the vestibular function of all three semicircular canals. Although vHIT has been validated for use in adults, its application in pediatric population has not been studied yet. Our program is a pioneer to use ICS impulse, the first FDA-approved vHIT system, for pediatric patients. Based on our experience of testing over 100 children, we consider vHIT is the most comfort, and kid-friendly vestibular test. Our clinical research outcomes on vHIT will be presented at a national pediatric otolaryngology conference in the spring, 2015.