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Virtual Reality Helps to Detect Mild Balance Problems in People with MS, Says New Society-Supported Study

March 27, 2020

People with MS are more likely to fall even if they don’t have trouble walking. In a study exploring this problem, researchers at the University of North Carolina and collaborators found that balance problems that were not detected in people with MS while walking were evident using virtual reality-based testing. The team compared balance in 14 people with MS and 14 people without MS using normal walking, and then using the virtual reality headset-based method, which involves giving people the illusion of falling.

The investigators are testing and developing this method further, in the hopes that it may ultimately be used to detect balance and address problems in people living with MS before falls occur. Author Dr. Jason Franz was funded with a pilot research award from the National MS Society.

Read more from the University of North Carolina

Read the paper in the PLOS journal

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


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