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Papers of the Week

Papers: 9 Feb 2019 - 15 Feb 2019

Human Studies


2019 Mar 01




Abnormal visuo-vestibular interactions in vestibular migraine: a cross sectional study.


Bednarczuk NF, Bonsu A, Ortega M C, Fluri A-S, Chan J, Rust H, de Melo F, Sharif M, Seemungal BM, Golding JF, Kaski D, Bronstein AM, Arshad Q
Brain. 2019 Mar 01; 142(3):606-616.
PMID: 30759189.


Vestibular migraine is among the commonest causes of episodic vertigo. Chronically, patients with vestibular migraine develop abnormal responsiveness to both vestibular and visual stimuli characterized by heightened self-motion sensitivity and visually-induced dizziness. Yet, the neural mechanisms mediating such symptoms remain unknown. We postulate that such symptoms are attributable to impaired visuo-vestibular cortical interactions, which in turn disrupts normal vestibular function. To assess this, we investigated whether prolonged, full-field visual motion exposure, which has been previously shown to modulate visual cortical excitability in both healthy individuals and avestibular patients, could disrupt vestibular ocular reflex and vestibular-perceptual thresholds of self-motion during rotations. Our findings reveal that vestibular migraine patients exhibited abnormally elevated reflexive and perceptual vestibular thresholds at baseline. Following visual motion exposure, both reflex and perceptual thresholds were significantly further increased in vestibular migraine patients relative to healthy controls, migraineurs without vestibular symptoms and patients with episodic vertigo due to a peripheral inner-ear disorder. Our results provide support for the notion of altered visuo-vestibular cortical interactions in vestibular migraine, as evidenced by vestibular threshold elevation following visual motion exposure.