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Peripheral neuropathy is a significant health problem.  It is not only a result of common syndromes such as diabetes, but it also remains a significant part of the aging process. Clinical neuropathies could result in ataxia, balance difficulties, and increased risk of falling. The role of sensory cues in the control of posture and balance in the presence of peripheral neuropathy is unclear. The aim of this proposal is to study the role of sensory information in balance maintenance using a novel approach, in which auxiliary sensory cues are provided to the distal segments of the leg. We will evaluate changes in the postural responses of patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy with and without auxiliary sensory cues or ankle foot orthoses. The project will provide preliminary data on the role that auxiliary sensory cues play in the balance of individuals with peripheral neuropathy.

(NIH Grant HD-051628)

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