Table of Contents
Journal of Medical Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 248316, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/248316
Research Article

Assessment of Visual Reliance in Balance Control: An Inexpensive Extension of the Static Posturography

1Institute of Electronics and Photonics, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Ilkovičova 3, 81219 Bratislava, Slovakia
2II Neurologic Department, Medical Faculty of Commenius Univesity, Derer University Hospital, Limbová 5, 83305 Bratislava, Slovakia
3Institute of Normal and Pathological Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Sienkiewiczova 1, 813 71 Bratislava, Slovakia

Received 27 September 2013; Revised 31 December 2013; Accepted 2 January 2014; Published 19 February 2014

Academic Editor: Radovan Zdero

Copyright © 2014 Jozef Púčik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Ability of humans to maintain balance in an upright stance and during movement activities is one of the most natural skills affecting everyday life. This ability progressively deteriorates with increasing age, and balance impairment, often aggravated by age-related diseases, can result in falls that adversely impact the quality of life. Falls represent serious problems of health concern associated with aging. Many investigators, involved in different science disciplines such as medicine, engineering, psychology, and sport, have been attracted by a research of the human upright stance. In a clinical practice, stabilometry based on the force plate is the most widely available procedure used to evaluate the balance. In this paper, we have proposed a low-cost extension of the conventional stabilometry by the multimedia technology that allows identifying potentially disturbing effects of visual sensory information. Due to the proposed extension, a stabilometric assessment in terms of line integral of center of pressure (COP) during moving scene stimuli shows higher discrimination power between young healthy and elderly subjects with supposed stronger visual reliance.