Researchers Pinpoint Source of Dizziness Researchers have isolated a site in a highly developed area of the human brain that plays an important role in the subconscious recognition of which way is straight up and which way is down, according to a study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The finding may help explain some ... Research in Brief
Free
Research in Brief  |   December 01, 2013
Researchers Pinpoint Source of Dizziness
Author Notes
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   December 01, 2013
Researchers Pinpoint Source of Dizziness
The ASHA Leader, December 2013, Vol. 18, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.18122013.38
The ASHA Leader, December 2013, Vol. 18, 38. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB4.18122013.38
Researchers have isolated a site in a highly developed area of the human brain that plays an important role in the subconscious recognition of which way is straight up and which way is down, according to a study published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. The finding may help explain some causes of spatial disorientation and dizziness, and offers targets for treating the feelings of unsteadiness and “floating” people experience when the brain fails to properly integrate input from the body’s senses.
Disabling dizziness can be a symptom of damage to the inner ear or other senses such as vision. A team led by Amir Kheradmand, a neurology instructor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, recruited eight healthy participants (five male and three female, ages 22–72) for the study, placed each person in a dark room, and showed them lines illuminated on a screen. The researchers asked the subjects to report the orientation of the lines by rotating a dial to the right, left or straight.
Participants then received trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, which painlessly and noninvasively delivered 600 electromagnetic pulses—that can temporarily disrupt the function of the targeted area—over the course of 40 seconds to precise locations in the brain. After each 40-second session, the subjects were again asked to report the orientation of lines on the screen. Ultimately, the researchers found that each subject reported that his or her sense of being upright was skewed in the same way after transcranial magnetic stimulation in the same spot in the parietal cortex: the supramarginal gyrus.
Kheradmand says the study’s results raise the possibility that this technology could be used to treat chronic dizziness, theorizing that if magnetic stimulation can disrupt upright perception in healthy people, it might also fix dysfunction in the same location in people with dizziness and spatial disorientation.
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
December 2013
Volume 18, Issue 12