Allergy 2013 May (2)-2

Balance disturbances in asthmatic patients.

J Asthma. 2013 Apr;50(3):282-6.

Cunha ÂG, Nunes MP, Ramos RT, Carvalo-Pinto RM, Boffino CC, Martins FC, Tanaka C.

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil.


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate balance control in asthmatic patients.

METHODS: Thirty subjects with controlled persistent asthma were compared with 30 non-asthmatic subjects who were matched by age and sex. Individuals who had received psychiatric treatment, demonstrated chronic musculoskeletal pain, had limited joint movements, or showed vestibular or other equilibrium disorders were excluded from both the groups to avoid biomechanical bias in the dynamic posturography. Balance control was evaluated with the subject standing still on a force platform under four different sensory test conditions. These conditions combined the subject’s eyes being opened or closed with a fixed or mobile force platform. A mobile platform provides a somatosensory perturbation, and when associated with the eyes closed condition, only vestibular information is available to moderate balance control. Sensory manipulation provides a more sensitive condition to differentiate postural control between populations or pathologies. Data were sampled at 100 Hz in three 20-second trials and four postural conditions were assessed. The center of pressure (CoP) displacement values were used to calculate area and velocity in the medial-lateral and forward-backward directions. A two-factor analysis of variance with repeated measurements was applied to the data.

RESULTS: In comparison to the control group, the asthma group demonstrated a greater area of CoP displacement in conditions using the mobile force platform (with eyes opened or closed) and a higher velocity in forward-backward direction on the mobile platform with the eyes closed.

CONCLUSION: Asthmatic individuals presented a greater area for the CoP displacement under somatosensory perturbations and a higher velocity in the forward-backward direction when vestibular information only was made available. Our data suggest that balance needs to be evaluated in asthmatic patients.

PMID: 23234251


Supplement Pictures

Fig 1. Representation of dynamic posturography equipment

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Fig 2. Dynamic posturography: the balance platform

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Fig 3.Balance scores: testing a patient

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