Group 4: Visual desensitization treatment for Syndrome
Phase-Based Progress Estimates
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY
VOR Readaptation - Behavioral
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What conditions do you have?
What conditions do you have?
Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS) is an under-recognized balance disorder, which is manifested by persistent false sensations of oscillatory self-motion (rocking/swaying) and/or pulling in a specific direction (gravitational pull). Patients with MdDS typically experience additional presumably secondary symptoms, such as heightened sensitivity to visual motion (visually induced dizziness, VID), physical motion (motion sickness, MS), and other debilitating physical, cognitive, or affective problems. MdDS was previously considered intractable, and only recently was a breakthrough made in the clinical laboratory with an introduction of a visual-vestibular therapy protocol, yielding a significant long-term improvement of symptoms, including complete remission, in about 50% of patients. However, the approach is limited in several ways. Firstly, there is a practical limitation in implementing the treatment protocol, which requires a specialized set-up for visual stimulation in a dedicated room. This research will address this limitation by testing the utility of virtual reality technology to implement the treatment protocol. Secondly, patients often retain residual symptoms of VID and MS susceptibility, which often act as a trigger for the recurrence of MdDS. This limitation will be addressed by supplementing the original approach with an additional treatment focusing on VID or MS susceptibility. Thirdly, although the original protocol focused on reducing rocking/swaying sensations, gravitational pull often co-occurs with such sensations, and some experience only that motion sensation. This limitation will be addressed by modifying the original protocol. Two hundred patients with MdDS will be recruited for the study. Bias will be controlled by randomized group assignment and the use of placebo treatments. Patients will be treated for 1-2 hours a day for 5 days. Patients will be followed for up to 6 months. The proposed study will facilitate improved outcomes for MdDS by broadening its treatment options.
Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.