Introductory Remarks



Vertigo and dizziness are not unique disease entities. Sometimes vertigo is attributed to vestibular disorders, while dizziness is not (Neuhäuser and Lempert 2004). There is, however, no general agreement, and visual stimuli can cause vertigo (e.g., height vertigo or optokinetic vection), just as central vestibular or otolith disorders can cause dizziness. The two terms cover a number of multisensory and sensorimotor syndromes of various aetiologies and pathogeneses, which can be elucidated only within an interdisciplinary approach. After headache, vertigo and dizziness are among the most frequent presenting symptoms, not only in neurology. According to a survey of over 30,000 persons, the prevalence of vertigo as a function of age is around 17%; it rises to 39% in those over 80 years of age (Davis and Moorjani 2003). Whether caused by physiological stimulation (motion sickness, height vertigo) or a lesion (unilateral labyrinthine failure, central vestibular pathway lesions), the resulting vertigo syndrome characteristically exhibits similar signs and symptoms despite the different pathomechanisms—dizziness/vertigo, nausea, nystagmus and ataxia (Figure 1.1). Disorders of perception (dizziness/vertigo), gaze stabilisation (nystagmus), postural control (falling tendency, ataxia) and the vegetative system (nausea) are related to the main functions of the vestibular system, which are located in different sites in the brain.


Motion Sickness Smooth Pursuit Vestibular Schwannoma Subjective Visual Vertical Petrous Bone 
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References and Recommended Reading

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