Patients with chronic dizziness following traumatic head injury typically have multiple diagnoses involving combined peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction
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Sharp, David J.
Seemungal, Barry M.
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AbstractObjective We hypothesised that chronic vestibular symptoms (CVS) of imbalance and dizziness post-traumatic head injury (THI) may relate to: (i) the occurrence of multiple simultaneous vestibular diagnoses including both peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction in individual patients increasing the chance of missed diagnoses and suboptimal treatment; (ii) an impaired response to vestibular rehabilitation since the central mechanisms that mediate rehabilitation related brain plasticity may themselves be disrupted. Methods We report the results of a retrospective analysis of both the comprehensive clinical and vestibular laboratory testing of 20 consecutive THI patients with prominent and persisting vestibular symptoms still present at least 6 months post THI. Results Individual THI patients typically had multiple vestibular diagnoses and unique to this group of vestibular patients, often displayed both peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction. Despite expert neuro-otological management, at two years 20% of patients still had persisting vestibular symptoms. Conclusion In summary, chronic vestibular dysfunction in THI could relate to: (i) the presence of multiple vestibular diagnoses, increasing the risk of ‘missed’ vestibular diagnoses leading to persisting symptoms; (ii) the impact of brain trauma which may impair brain plasticity mediated repair mechanisms. Apart from alerting physicians to the potential for multiple vestibular diagnoses in THI, future work to identify the specific deficits in brain function mediating poor recovery from post-THI vestibular dysfunction could provide the rationale for developing new therapy for head injury patients whose vestibular symptoms are resistant to treatment.
CitationArshad, Q., Roberts, R., Ahmad, H., Lobo, R., Patel, M., Ham, T., Sharp, D. and Seemungal, B. (2017). Patients with chronic dizziness following traumatic head injury typically have multiple diagnoses involving combined peripheral and central vestibular dysfunction. Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery, 155, pp.17-19.
JournalClinical neurology & neurosurgery
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