Vestibular perceptual thresholds to angular rotation in acute unilateral vestibular paresis and with galvanic stimulation

Nicholas J Cutfield, Sian Cousins, Barry M Seemungal, Michael A Gresty, Adolfo M Bronstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies of compensation of injury to the human vestibular system have, in the main, focused on the vestibular-ocular reflex. Probing vestibular perception allows more of the sensory pathway to be assessed. We present a novel paradigm for simultaneously testing vestibular perceptual and nystagmic thresholds to angular acceleration around an earth vertical axis. The perceptual thresholds can be modulated asymmetrically in normal subjects by DC galvanic stimulation with the head flexed in the roll plane, as expected from the main torsional plane of action of the galvanic stimulus. The perceptual and nystagmic thresholds were bilaterally elevated in acute vestibular neuritis, a unilateral condition, possibly due to central suppression of vestibular input. The degree of asymmetry in thresholds was small in comparison with the large caloric asymmetry present in the patients, indicating a relatively preserved capacity for near-threshold performance of the non-damaged labyrinth both in the "on" and "off" directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-62
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1233
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic
  • Paresis
  • Rotation
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Vestibular Neuronitis
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth
  • Visual Perception
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article

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