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What it measures:

The head thrust test is used to identify individuals with hypofunction of the vestibulo-ocular reflex unilaterally and bilaterally.

Target Population:

The test can be used to assess the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex in patients with concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and vestibular disorders.

Specific populations studied include:

  • Unilateral vestibular loss s/p neurectomy (Halmagyi, Curthoys, 1988),
  • Unilateral and bilateral vestibular hypofunction (Kremmyda, et al., 2012; Jorns-Haderli, Straumann, & Palla, 2007)
  • Vestibular hypofunction with cerebellar ataxia (Schubert et al., 2004)
  • Vestibular neuritis, Meniere disease, s/p unilateral intratympanic gentamicin, vestibular loss s/p gentamicin vestibulotoxicity (MacDougall, et al., 2009)
  • Patients presenting with dizziness (Harvey, Wood, & Feroah, 1997)

Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Multiple Sclerosis Taskforce, Parkinson’s Taskforce, Spinal Cord Injury Task Force, Stroke Task Force, Traumatic Brain Injury Task Force, and Vestibular Taskforce.  These recommendations were developed by a panel of research and clinical experts using a modified Delphi process.

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