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Balance Program

UCLA Balance Program

Overview

The UCLA Dizziness and Balance Program is a unique outpatient clinic system that combines medical doctors and physical therapists to offer a true multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis and treatment of dizziness and balance disorders. UCLA physicians and physical therapists are recognized worldwide for excellence in patient care, research and teaching.

Patient Care

Symptoms that we diagnose and treat:

UCLA Balance Center - UCLA Head & Neck Surgery

dizziness
vertigo
ataxia
balance problems
walking problems
tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
hearing loss

Conditions with specific treatments:

benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
vestibular neuritis
Meniere's Disease
migraine associated vertigo
benign recurrent vertigo
labyrinthitis
sudden deafness

Treatment Programs

We have a broad range of treatment programs designed for different causes of dizziness and imbalance. A unique feature of the UCLA Balance Program is individually designed treatment programs by the clinicians based on the patient's diagnosis and close collaboration between the clinicians and the physical therapists to assure that the therapy program is working. Common treatment programs include:

  • Particle repositioning maneuvers for all varieties of Benign Positional Vertigo
  • Vestibular exercises for recovery from unilateral or bilateral vestibular loss
  • Gait and balance training for age-related gait and balance disorders
  • Specific rehab protocols for balance disorders associated with stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson Disease, and inherited ataxias.
  • Deconditioning therapy for severe motion sensitivity

A key feature of the UCLA Balance Program is the large group of physicians and therapists who are trained to diagnose and treat both brain and ear disorders. Since dizziness and balance problems can result from damage to the inner ear and/or brain it is critical that the examining physician and therapists are knowledgeable about both the ear and the brain.

Balance Testing Laboratory

The UCLA Balance Program has the broadest range of tests available in the Western United States. The Balance Testing Laboratory has over 30 years of experience and many of the testing techniques used at other centers were developed at UCLA. Our laboratory is particularly known for rigorous testing techniques and for carefully establishing normative data.

Routine tests available on request:

  • Electronystagmography (ENG) - Consists of a battery of tests that assess inner ear and brain pathways involved in controlling eye movements. Subcomponents include: spontaneous, gaze evoked, and positional nystagmus; smooth pursuit, optokinetic nystagmus and saccades; and caloric induced nystagmus.
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) - A relatively new test of the saccular-nuchal reflex elicited by clicks presented to each ear while recording muscle activity in the neck.
  • Quantitative rotational testing - Measures eye movement response to precise head movements. The patient sits on a motorized rotational chair that moves with different patterns in the light and dark.
  • Research testing: In addition to the routine testing available above we have numerous research testing devices that might be appropriate for individual patients

Clinic Physicians

Robert W. Baloh MD
Joanna Jen MD, PhD
Gail Ishiyama MD
Yoon-Hee Cha MD
Akira Ishiyama MD
Joseph Demer MD, PhD

Dr. Robert W. Baloh, is Professor of Neurology and Head and Neck Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He has authored the definitive textbooks on Neuro-otology and has published more than 300 articles on dizziness and balance disorders in peer reviewed medical journals. Drs. Joanna Jen, Gail Ishiyama, and Yoon-Hee Cha completed residencies in Neurology and fellowships in Neuro-otology and are faculty members at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Jen is director of the research laboratories. She has a particular interest in the inherited ataxias and migraine associated vertigo. Dr. Gail Ishiyama specializes in inner ear disorders such as Meniere's Disease and is at the forefront in the diagnosis, treatment and research of these disorders. Dr. Cha has a particular interest in disorders of motion perception and through her research program uses computer generated visual motion and functional MRI to develop new treatment strategies for patients who experience continuous motion (so called persistent Mal de Debarqemaunt). Dr. Akira Ishiyama is a world renowned Otologic Surgeon and Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA. He has extensive experience with all types of ear surgery and has an active research program in developing new surgical treatments for dizziness and balance disorders. Dr. Joseph Demer is a world renowned Ophthalamologist with a particular interest in the inner ear control of eye movements. Often patients with dizziness and imbalance have abnormalities of both eye and ear.

 

Contact

For information, referral, and appointments, call: (310) 825-5910.

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