Vestibular dysfunction in acute traumatic brain injury.

08:00 EDT 14th June 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Vestibular dysfunction in acute traumatic brain injury."

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the commonest cause of disability in under-40-year-olds. Vestibular features of dizziness (illusory self-motion) or imbalance which affects 50% of TBI patients at 5 years, increases unemployment threefold in TBI survivors. Unfortunately, vestibular diagnoses are cryptogenic in 25% of chronic TBI cases, impeding therapy. We hypothesized that chronic adaptive brain mechanisms uncouple vestibular symptoms from signs. This predicts a masking of vestibular diagnoses chronically but not acutely. Hence, defining the spectrum of vestibular diagnoses in acute TBI should clarify vestibular diagnoses in chronic TBI. There are, however, no relevant acute TBI data. Of 111 Major Trauma Ward adult admissions screened (median 38-years-old), 96 patients (87%) had subjective dizziness (illusory self-motion) and/or objective imbalance were referred to the senior author (BMS). Symptoms included: feeling unbalanced (58%), headache (50%) and dizziness (40%). In the 47 cases assessed by BMS, gait ataxia was the commonest sign (62%) with half of these cases denying imbalance when asked. Diagnoses included BPPV (38%), acute peripheral unilateral vestibular loss (19%), and migraine phenotype headache (34%), another potential source of vestibular symptoms. In acute TBI, vestibular signs are common, with gait ataxia being the most frequent one. However, patients underreport symptoms. The uncoupling of symptoms from signs likely arises from TBI affecting perceptual mechanisms. Hence, the cryptogenic nature of vestibular symptoms in TBI (acute or chronic) relates to a complex interaction between injury (to peripheral and central vestibular structures and perceptual mechanisms) and brain-adaptation, emphasizing the need for acute prospective, mechanistic studies.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of neurology
ISSN: 1432-1459


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.

Prolonged unconsciousness from which the individual cannot be aroused, associated with traumatic injuries to the BRAIN. This may be defined as unconsciousness persisting for 6 hours or longer. Coma results from injury to both cerebral hemispheres or the RETICULAR FORMATION of the BRAIN STEM. Contributing mechanisms include DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY and BRAIN EDEMA. (From J Neurotrauma 1997 Oct;14(10):699-713)

A form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.

Traumatic injuries to the cranium where the integrity of the skull is not compromised and no bone fragments or other objects penetrate the skull and dura mater. This frequently results in mechanical injury being transmitted to intracranial structures which may produce traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, or cranial nerve injury. (From Rowland, Merritt's Textbook of Neurology, 9th ed, p417)

Conditions characterized by persistent brain damage or dysfunction as sequelae of cranial trauma. This disorder may result from DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY; INTRACRANIAL HEMORRHAGES; BRAIN EDEMA; and other conditions. Clinical features may include DEMENTIA; focal neurologic deficits; PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE; AKINETIC MUTISM; or COMA.

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