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The differential diagnosis of vertigo or dizziness as a result of cerebellar disorders can be difficult as many patients with a cerebellar pathology do not present with the full spectrum of cerebellar signs. The main goal of this study was to describe the typical clinical features of these patients with vertigo or dizziness of a cerebellar origin. We reviewed the medical records of 5400 patients with vertigo and dizziness from our tertiary outpatient clinic for vertigo and balance disorders. In 459 the diagnosis of "cerebellar vertigo or dizziness" was made; 90 patients were excluded from further analysis due to evident structural changes in MRI. Of the remaining 369 patients (67.0 ± 15.1, 54% female, symptom duration until diagnosis 5.5 ± 6.9 years), 81% suffered from persistent vertigo or dizziness, 31% from attacks of vertigo and dizziness and 21% from both. Neuro-ophthalmologically, 95% had saccadic smooth pursuit, 80% gaze-holding deficits, 64% a pathological fixation suppression of the VOR, 24% central fixation nystagmus (in 64% of these cases downbeat nystagmus (DBN)), 23% rebound nystagmus, and an ocular misalignment in 84% in near view and 50% in distance view. Eleven percent had isolated mild to moderate cerebellar ocular motor disturbances without any other typical cerebellar signs. The most common diagnoses were sporadic adult-onset degenerative ataxia in 26%; idiopathic DBN syndrome in 20%; cerebellar ataxia, neuropathy, and vestibular areflexia syndrome in 10%; episodic ataxia type 2 in 7%; and multiple system atrophy cerebellar type in 6%. In posturography, a typical cerebellar 3-Hz sway was found in 16%. The diagnostic key to patients with cerebellar vertigo or dizziness is a careful examination of eye movements since practically all of them have cerebellar ocular disturbances.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cerebellum (London, England)
First, determine whether the sensation the patient is experiencing is dizziness or true vertigo. Then eliminate ominous causes from the array of benign ones.
Dizziness can be due to pathology from multiple physiologic systems, the most common being vestibular. Dizziness may be categorized as vertigo, disequilibrium, lightheadedness, or oscillopsia. Vertigo...
To determine the typical proportions of diagnoses for patients presenting with dizziness or vertigo based on clinical speciality and to assess the change in proportions of diagnoses over time.
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An illusion of movement, either of the external world revolving around the individual or of the individual revolving in space. Vertigo may be associated with disorders of the inner ear (EAR, INNER); VESTIBULAR NERVE; BRAINSTEM; or CEREBRAL CORTEX. Lesions in the TEMPORAL LOBE and PARIETAL LOBE may be associated with FOCAL SEIZURES that may feature vertigo as an ictal manifestation. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, pp300-1)
A subregion of the CEREBELLAR CORTEX, located along the midsagittal plane of the CEREBELLUM.
A group of congenital malformations involving the brainstem, cerebellum, upper spinal cord, and surrounding bony structures. Type II is the most common, and features compression of the medulla and cerebellar tonsils into the upper cervical spinal canal and an associated MENINGOMYELOCELE. Type I features similar, but less severe malformations and is without an associated meningomyelocele. Type III has the features of type II with an additional herniation of the entire cerebellum through the bony defect involving the foramen magnum, forming an ENCEPHALOCELE. Type IV is a form a cerebellar hypoplasia. Clinical manifestations of types I-III include TORTICOLLIS; opisthotonus; HEADACHE; VERTIGO; VOCAL CORD PARALYSIS; APNEA; NYSTAGMUS, CONGENITAL; swallowing difficulties; and ATAXIA. (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, p261; Davis, Textbook of Neuropathology, 2nd ed, pp236-46)
The apparent deflection (Coriolis acceleration) of a body in motion with respect to the earth, as seen by an observer on the earth, attributed to a fictitious force (Coriolis force) but actually caused by the rotation of the earth. In a medical context it refers to the physiological effects (nausea, vertigo, dizziness, etc.) felt by a person moving radially in a rotating system, as a rotating space station. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed & McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)
Primary or metastatic neoplasms of the CEREBELLUM. Tumors in this location frequently present with ATAXIA or signs of INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION due to obstruction of the fourth ventricle. Common primary cerebellar tumors include fibrillary ASTROCYTOMA and cerebellar HEMANGIOBLASTOMA. The cerebellum is a relatively common site for tumor metastases from the lung, breast, and other distant organs. (From Okazaki & Scheithauer, Atlas of Neuropathology, 1988, p86 and p141)
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Neurology - Central Nervous System (CNS)
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