Vestibular dysfunction as cortical damage with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Vestibular dysfunction as cortical damage with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

J Neurol Sci. 2018 Dec 05;397:4-8

Authors: Nakamagoe K, Yamada S, Kawakami R, Miyake Z, Tozaka N, Okune S, Takeda H, Koganezawa T, Tamaoka A

BACKGROUND: Cortical damage in areas such as the frontal lobe is reported in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, aside from executive dysfunction, the pathological significance of this cortical damage has yet to be clarified. The present study investigated the effects of cortical damage on vestibular function in ALS.
METHODS: Subjects comprised 18 ALS patients and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Cold air caloric stimulation was performed in all subjects to induce vestibular nystagmus, which was analysed to evaluate vestibular function. Visual suppression testing to investigate the suppressive effects of visual stimuli on vestibular nystagmus was expressed as suppression rate (SR, %). Executive function was tested using the frontal assessment battery (FAB).
RESULTS: Suppression rate and FAB score were significantly lower in the ALS group than in the control group (p < 0.01 each). A positive correlation was also observed between SR and FAB score (R = 0.65, p = 0.023).
CONCLUSION: Visual suppression testing showed significant damage to the central nervous system vestibular control mechanisms, which utilize visual information in the ALS group and a positive correlation between SR and FAB score suggest a relationship between frontal lobe damage and impaired vestibular control. A simple vestibular function test may be useful as a tool to objectively monitor the progression of cerebral lesions in ALS.

PMID: 30551075 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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