Evaluation of the Effects of Ethanol on Static and Dynamic Gait

Mallinson, Arthur I.; Longridge, Neil S.; Morley, Rebecca E.
December 2008
Journal of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery;Dec2008, Vol. 37 Issue 6, p856
Academic Journal
Objective: We used two balance assessment devices, computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) and Swaystar transducers to detect subtle balance system deficits in nine subjects who had ingested minimal amounts of alcohol. Design: Nine subjects were evaluated with both modalities before, and repetitively after, ingesting a small amount of alcohol. Methods: We measured condition 5 (sway referenced platform; eyes closed) on CDP and tandem walking with eyes closed while wearing Swaystar to see if either test could detect a balance deficit. Main Outcome Measures: We measured total sway amplitude with eyes closed in pitch and roll planes during tandem walking with Swaystar, and static balance scores of CDP sensory organization testing condition 5 before and after alcohol ingestion at 20 rain intervals. Results: Although there was no detectable deficit measurable by CDP, eight of our nine subjects showed increased dynamic sway as measured by Swaystar, after alcohol ingestion. Total sway was significantly greater (p = .05) after alcohol ingestion. Conclusion: It is important to assess dynamic, rather than static, equilibrium as it may have potential in detecting very subtle balance deficits.


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