Romberg’s Sign is not a condition in itself. It is a test devised by the 19th century German Ear Specialist, Moritz Heinrich Romberg (1795-1873).

romberg Romberg's sign vertigo multiple sclerosis
MS Sign

It is a test used in connection with balance problems with a lack of visual feedback. Associated with neurological conditions or problems with the inner ear.

Romberg’s Sign an MS Indicator

The patient may exhibit poor balance when the eyes are closed. This could involve swaying or falling or the inability to recover when given a small push.

Feedback about the body’s balance comes, primarily, from the inner ear, but also from visual feedback from the eyes and positional feedback from the proprioceptive sensors in the muscles and limb joints.

All of this feedback is sent to the cerebellum, the area of the brain that assimilates all of the sensory information.

Any problems revealed by the test are indicative of a separate underlying problem such as vertigo, vestibular ataxia or cerebellar ataxia.

This is, suddenly, very clear as my physiotherapist carried out these tests quite extensively during my evaluation a few years ago, and I failed them dismally.

This is, undoubtedly, related to the sensation of vertigo exhibited by many an MSer, myself included. Albeit those of us who experience this vertigo will lose balance even when our eyes are open.

Like all multiple sclerosis indicators, the presence of the indicator does not imply the existence of the disease. The indicator may be sufficient to consult your medical practitioner in order to exclude multiple sclerosis or other potential causes of the lack of balance.

Romberg’s Sign is a symptom that I experience frequently. I was first diagnosed with MS back in 1994. At that time, I had few perceptible symptoms. However, Romberg’s sign has only become noticeable in the last four or five years.


Multiple Sclerosis Encyclopaedia
Pub Med

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