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Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Laboratory (STABILITI Lab)

The mission of the Vestibular and Balance Rehabilitation Lab is to investigate the challenges that individuals face due to disease, injury, or aging of the vestibular system.

photo of lab team in front of research poster

By using innovative technologies, such as virtual reality training programs and mobile applications to encourage home exercise programs, the STABILITI Lab seeks to alleviate symptoms due to vestibular dysfunction and promote mobility.

The goal of this work is to advance research in vestibular rehabilitation and to discover new treatments to improve the lives of people with such conditions.

Principal Investigator and Lab Director

Linda D'Silva, Ph.D., PT, NCS
Assistant Professor
Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training
University of Kansas Medical Center

App Development

We are collaborating with CFD Research Corporation to develop rehabilitation training programs for people with dizziness to increase adherence to their exercises. The Vestibular App will deliver exercises in an interactive, game-based format with feedback to modulate and improve performance.

photo of student working on ear model3-D Printing Educational Models

The lab has increased student learning by providing DPT students with the opportunity to build a model of the vestibular system that can be used for educating their patients and explaining how certain vestibular conditions, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, can be treated.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

The STABILITI lab is working with the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition to examine how Omega-3 level may influence the effect of repeated subconcussive head impacts on the vestibular system in women soccer athletes. We are looking at the relationship between choline consumption and balance in healthy older adults.

Mental Effort needed to Perform Visual Scanning Activities after a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
D’Silva (Co-PI), Devos (Co-PI)
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Grant

Multisite Implementation of "Vestibular Rehabilitation for Peripheral Vestibular Hypofunction: An Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline"
Tilson (PI), D’Silva (Co-PI), Skop (Co-PI), MacDowell (Co-PI), Roth (Co-PI), Farrell (CO-PI), Dannenbaum (Co-PI)
Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy
11/1/2017 – 12/31/2019

Photo showing models of inner ear structureFagan M, Lakin J, Mularoni M, D'Silva LJ. Persistent post-concussive symptoms can affect sleep, stress and anxiety levels. International Conference of Vestibular Rehabilitation. August 2018, Chicago IL (Poster).

D'Silva LJ, Kluding PM. The Impact of Type 2 Diabetes on mobility deficits measured by the Functional Gait Assessment in individuals with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. February 2018, New Orleans (Poster).

Skop K, Dannenbaum E, MacDowell S, D'Silva LJ, Tilson J, Crowner B, Farrell L, Roth H. A Model for Active Dissemination and Implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines Published by Academies and Sections of the APTA. Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association. February 2018, New Orleans (Poster).

Tilson J, MacDowell S, Dannenbaum L, D'Silva LJ, Farrell L, Roth H, Skop K. Concurrent adaptation of a new clinical practice guideline in diverse healthcare organizations. 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, November 2017, Washington DC.

D’Silva LJ, Chalise P, Obaidat S, Rippee M, Devos H. Oculomotor Deficits and Symptom Severity Are Associated with Poorer Dynamic Mobility in Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Front. Neurol., 26 July 2021.

D’Silva LJ, Devos H, Hunt SL, Chen J, Smith D, Rippee MA. Concussion symptoms experienced during driving may influence driving habits. Brain Inj. 2021 Jan 5;35(1):59-64. Epub 2020 Dec 10. PubMed PMID: 33297775

D’Silva LJ, Siengsukon C, Devos H. Gaze stability in young adults with previous concussion history. Journal of  Vestibular Research 2020; 30(4):259-266. PubMed PMID: 32675433

Ludwig R, D'Silva LJ, Vaduvathiriyan P, Rippee MA, Siengsukon C. Sleep Disturbances in the Acute Stage of Concussion are Associated With Poorer Long-Term Recovery: A Systematic Review. PM R. 2020 May;12(5):500-511. Epub 2020 Jan 30. PubMed PMID: 31876086

Alenazi AM, Alshehri MM, Alothman S, Rucker J, Dunning K, D'Silva LJ, Kluding PM. Functional Reach, Depression Scores, and Number of Medications Are Associated With Number of Falls in People With Chronic Stroke. PM R. 2018 Aug;10(8):806-816. Epub 2017 Dec 26. PubMed PMID: 29288141; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7200172.

D’Silva LJ, Kluding PM, Whitney SL, Hongying D, Santos M. Postural Sway in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and Concurrent Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. International Journal of Neuroscience 2017 Apr 25:1-9

D’Silva LJ, Whitney SL, Santos M, Hongying D, Kluding PM. The impact of diabetes on mobility, balance, and recovery after repositioning maneuvers in individuals with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications 2017 Jun; 31(6): 976-982.

D’Silva LJ, Staecker H, Lin J, Maddux C, Ferraro J, Hongying D, Kluding PM. Otolith Dysfunction in Persons with both Diabetes and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Otology and Neurotology 2017 Mar;38(3): 379-385. 

D’Silva LJ, Staecker H, Lin J, Whitney S, Kluding PM. The Impact of Diabetic Complications on Balance and Falls: Contribution of the Vestibular system. Physical Therapy 2016 March; 96(3):400-409.

D’Silva LJ, Staecker H, Lin J, Sykes K, Phadnis M, Sabus CE, McMahon T, Connolly D, Whitney SL, Kluding PM. Retrospective data suggests that the higher prevalence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in individuals with type 2 diabetes is mediated by hypertension. Journal of Vestibular Research: 2016;25(5-6):233-9. PubMed PMID: 26890424; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4791946.

KU School of Health Professions

Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training
University of Kansas Medical Center
Mail Stop 2002
3901 Rainbow Blvd.
Kansas City, KS 66160