Phobic postural vertigo: a first follow-up.
ABSTRACT Seventy-eight patients with phobic postural vertigo (PPV) and 17 patients with psychogenic disorder of stance and gait (PSG) were asked to evaluate their condition 6 months to 5.5 years after their original referral and short-term psychotherapy. Two results seem most important: (1) PPV had a favorable course with a 72% improvement rate (22% of patients becoming symptom free), whereas the majority of patients with PSG (52%) remained unchanged; (2) the majority of patients with PPV experienced complete remission or considerable improvement even if their condition had lasted between 1 and 20 years prior to diagnosis. Complete remission of PSG was observed only if the disorder has been present less than 4 months; there was no improvement if it had lasted longer than 2 years. PPV can be defined as a distinct clinical entity with a relatively benign course. It can be reliably diagnosed on the basis of typical features.
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ABSTRACT: Most patients suffering from chronic idiopathic dizziness do not present signs of vestibular dysfunction or organic failures of other kinds. Hence, this kind of dizziness is commonly seen as psychogenic in nature, sharing commonalities with specific phobias, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety. A more specific concept put forward by Brandt and Dieterich (1) states that these patients suffer from dizziness because of an inadequate compensation of self-induced sensory stimulation. According to this hypothesis self-motion-induced reafferent visual stimulation is interpreted as motion in the world since a predictive signal reflecting the consequences of self-motion, needed to compensate the reafferent stimulus, is inadequate. While conceptually intriguing, experimental evidence supporting the idea of an inadequate prediction of the sensory consequences of own movements has as yet been lacking. Here we tested this hypothesis by applying it to the perception of background motion induced by smooth pursuit eye movements. As a matter of fact, we found the same mildly undercompensating prediction, responsible for the perception of slight illusory world motion ("Filehne illusion") in the 15 patients tested and their age-matched controls. Likewise, the ability to adapt this prediction to the needs of the visual context was not deteriorated in patients. Finally, we could not find any correlation between measures of the individual severity of dizziness and the ability to predict. In sum, our results do not support the concept of a deviant prediction of self-induced sensory stimulation as cause of chronic idiopathic dizziness.Frontiers in Neurology 01/2013; 4:181.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Subjective postural imbalance is a key symptom in the somatoform phobic postural vertigo (PPV). It has been assumed that more attentional control of body posture and / or co-contraction of leg muscles during standing is used to minimize the physiological body sway in PPV. Here we analyze nonlinear variability of body sway in patients with PPV in order to disclose changes in postural control strategy associated with PPV. Methods: Twenty patients with PPV and 20 age-matched healthy subjects (HS) were recorded on a stabilometer platform with eyes open (EO), eyes closed (EC), and while standing on a foam rubber with eyes closed (ECF). Spatio-temporal changes of the center of pressure (CoP) displacement were analyzed to assess the structure of postural variability by computing the scaling exponent α and the sample entropy (SEn) of the time series. Results: With EO on firm ground α and SEn of CoP displacement were significantly lower in patients (p < 0.001). For more difficult conditions (EC, ECF) postural variability in PPV assimilated to that of HS. Conclusion: Postural control in PPV patients differs from HS under normal stance condition. It is characterized by a reduced scaling behavior and higher regularity. These changes in the structure of postural variability might suggest an inappropriate attentional involvement with stabilizing strategies, which are used by HS only for more demanding balance tasks.Frontiers in Neurology 01/2013; 4:115.
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ABSTRACT: To review new clinical data and theories concerning atypical positional nystagmus in vertical canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Peer reviewed, clinical papers describing nystagmus provoked by positioning in cases with BPPV. Basic scientific articles detailing 3D anatomical reconstructions of the inner ear. In BPPV, it is hypothetically possible that otoconia become dislocated but do not fall into the common crus of the vertical canals or into the horizontal canal; in these cases, they may gravitate toward the most inferior part of the utriculus, the ampulla of the inferior canal. It is argued that in these cases, depending on their behavior (free-floating or sticking to the cupula) and the precise position of the inferior ampulla, either no nystagmus or a slow downbeat nystagmus should ensue when the patient is positioned from sitting to a Dix-Hallpike position. Such scenarios could hypothetically explain commonly seen clinical entities such as "subjective BPPV" and/or cases with a peripheral positional downbeat nystagmus.Otology & neurotology: official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology 02/2014; 35(2):323-8. · 1.44 Impact Factor