A Neurologist’s View of Nausea and Vomiting

  • J. D. Parkes
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Applied Neurological Sciences book series (NEUROLOGICAL, volume 3)


The mechanisms (and treatment) of sickness depend on the cause. Some of the neurological causes of vomiting are the following (see also Table 1):
  1. 1.

    Migraine. Classic migraine attacks are characterised by nausea, and also by gastric stasis. Intense pain may contribute to gastric stasis, which may be the cause of the sensation of nausea, and may or may not lead to vomiting. Moreover, it is possible that the effect of analgesics is increased by administration of an anti-emetic.

  2. 2.

    Raised intracranial pressure. Vomiting may be sudden and forceful, but more often is preceded by severe nausea. Relief of raised pressure (e.g. surgery, dexamethasone) relieves sickness within a few days.

  3. 3.

    Low brain-stem focal gliomas. These may cause severe and persistent vomiting, with or without nausea, in the early stages, and without raised intracranial pressure, pointing to a vomiting centre in man localized in the low medulla.

  4. 4.

    Vestibular disorders. Vomiting is a common feature in ear disease, Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuronitis. Anticholinergic and antihistaminic, but not antidopaminergic, drugs give relief.



Anorexia Nervosa Dopamine Agonist Ergot Alkaloid Temporal Arteritis Decarboxylase Inhibitor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Parkes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, King’s College Hospital and Institute of PsychiatryUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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