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Janet Helminski, PT, PhD

Janet Helminski, PT, PhD

Dr. Helminski serves as a Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She is a neurologic physical therapist and neuroscientist teaching neuroscience, and evaluation of and intervention for adults with neurological deficits. Her current area of research is management of atypical BPPV, differential diagnosis of acute vestibular syndrome, and management of uncompensated unilateral peripheral vestibular deficits. Her work was funded in part by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of aging. She has served as a scientist reviewer for the Department of Defense, US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). Her clinic practice focuses on management of adult vestibular and balance disorders. She serves on the Medical & Scientific Advisory Board of the Vestibular Disorders Association, a nonprofit organization that provides information, support, and advocacy to people with vestibular and balance disorders.

Research Interests

  • Management of typical and atypical benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Management of individuals with uncompensated peripheral vestibular deficits
  • Differential diagnosis of central from peripheral vestibular disorders.

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • Helminski JO. Case report: Atypical patterns of nystagmus suggesting posterior canal cupulolithiasis and short arm canalithiasis. Frontiers in Neurology. 2022;13:
  • Helminski JO, Keller S, Suckow M, Stein A, Grieco L, Lintakas R, Reinders, C. Reliability of two dissociating tests of phoria in artificially created phoria in normal adults. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2021; 6(5):1142-1150.
  • Schubert M, Helminski JO, Zee DS, Cristiano E, Giannone A, Tortoriello G, Marcelli V. Horizontal semicircular canal jam: Two new cases and possible mechanisms. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2020;5(1):1-5.
  • Helminski JO. Peripheral downbeat positional nystagmus: Apogeotropic posterior canal or anterior canal BPPV. J Neurol Phys Ther, 43 Suppl 2 Supplement, Special Supplement: International Conference on Vestibular Rehabilitation. 2019;43:S8-s13.
  • Ross LM, Helminski Test and interrater reliability of the video head impulse test in the pediatric population. Otol Neurotol. 2016;37(5):558-563.

Link to Complete List of Publications


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience, Department of Neurobiology and Physiology
    Northwestern University
    Evanston, IL
  • Master of Science Degree in Physical Therapy with an emphasis in orthopedics
    Northwestern University
    Evanston, IL
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Therapy
    Marquette University
    Milwaukee, WI

Honors and Awards

  • Jack Walker Award
    American Physical Therapy Association
    June, 2015
  • Best Article Award 2013.
    American Physical Therapy Association, Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy, Vestibular Rehabilitation Special Interest Group
    January, 2013
  • Physical Therapy Alumni Association Research Achievement Award
    Northwestern University, Physical Therapy and Movement Science
    April, 2011
  • Doctoral Education Fellowship
    Illinois Physical Therapy Association
    April, 1995
  • Geraldine S. Taylor Fellowship for Physical Therapists,
    Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
    June, 1990
  • Second Place Award for Best Instructional Reporting
    Newsletter Association
    June, 1989

Professional Society Membership

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
    • APTA Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy
      • Vestibular Special Interest Group
    • APTA Academy of Research
  • Bárány Society – International Society of Neuro-Otology
  • Society for Neuroscience