Researchers Discover New, Treatable Type of Vertigo Korean researchers have identified a new type of vertigo that has no known cause but is treatable, according to a recent study in Neurology. To diagnose this new condition—known as recurrent spontaneous vertigo with head-shaking nystagmus—a patient sits in a dark room and the examiner moves the patient’s head forward ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   August 01, 2018
Researchers Discover New, Treatable Type of Vertigo
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Balance & Balance Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   August 01, 2018
Researchers Discover New, Treatable Type of Vertigo
The ASHA Leader, August 2018, Vol. 23, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.23082018.12
The ASHA Leader, August 2018, Vol. 23, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.23082018.12
Korean researchers have identified a new type of vertigo that has no known cause but is treatable, according to a recent study in Neurology.
To diagnose this new condition—known as recurrent spontaneous vertigo with head-shaking nystagmus—a patient sits in a dark room and the examiner moves the patient’s head forward and then shakes it horizontally for about 15 seconds. The examiner then video-records the patient’s eye movements. People with this new condition had nystagmus—eye movements—that lasted longer than for people with other types of vertigo.
Researchers from the Department of Neurology in the Seoul National University College of Medicine identified 35 people with the condition in a group of 338 who had vertigo with no known cause. These 35 study participants had different vertigo attack frequency—ranging from two or three times a week to once a year—and experienced nausea or vomiting, headaches, and intolerance of head motions during the attacks. The participants were compared to 35 people with other conditions that can cause vertigo, such Meniere’s disease, vestibular migraine and vestibular neuritis.
Twenty of the 35 people with the new type of vertigo who had frequent attacks and severe symptoms took preventive medication (various dosages and combinations of nimodipine, betahistine, propranolol, flunarizine, baclofen, nortriptyline and acetazolamide). About one-third had partial (30 percent) or complete (5 percent) recovery of symptoms with the prophylactic medication. During the long-term follow-up (an average of 12 years after the first symptoms for 31 participants), five reported no more attacks, 14 said their symptoms had improved, and only one said symptoms had gotten worse.
The researchers say that people with this condition may have a hyperactive mechanism in their vestibular system that responds problematically to movement of the body and in the environment.
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August 2018
Volume 23, Issue 8