The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the BrainPort balance
device in improving balance in people with balance deficits due to stroke.
Following baseline assessments, subjects participate in 5 consecutive days (10 hours) of
clinic training with the BrainPort balance device with a Physical Therapist. Assessments are
repeated at the end of clinic training. Following clinic training, subjects take the device
home to use for two (2) 20 minute training sessions each day. Subjects return to the clinic
for one (1) day of testing after using the device at home for 7 weeks.
- At least 18 years old.
- Diagnosis of stroke for at least 6 months.
- Reached a plateau and been discharged from physical therapy.
- Able to ambulate with or without assistance.
- Ongoing balance problem.
- Able to read and understand the informed consent form, and willing to sign the
informed consent form.
- Current oral health problems as determined by health questionnaire and an examination
of the oral cavity.
- Any medical condition that would interfere with performance on the assessments.
- History of seizures.
- Cognitive deficits (Mini-Mental 25 or below), joint replacements, cervical vertigo,
or major neurologic disease, major depression or disabling psychiatric disorder.
- Known neuropathies of tongue or skin tactile system.
- Prior exposure to BrainPort® balance device.
- Subjects who are unwilling or unable to adhere to all study requirements, including
completion of the training period, evaluation tests, and return to clinic for a
- Subjects who have undergone middle ear or other surgery with sacrifice or damage to
the chorda tympani nerve, lingual nerve, or hypoglossal nerve.
Mary Beth Badke, PT, PhD
University of Wisconsin, Madison