Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Emory Researchers Report Ways To Diagnose And Treat Patients With Vertigo

Date:
May 10, 2001
Source:
Emory University Health Sciences Center
Summary:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of dizziness spells and vertigo. But if diagnosed correctly, it can often be treated with immediate results, according to two Emory University researchers.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of dizziness spells and vertigo. But if diagnosed correctly, it can often be treated with immediate results, according to two Emory University researchers.

Ronald J. Tusa, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, and director of Emory’s Dizziness and Balance Center and Susan J. Herdman, P.T., Ph.D., Emory University School of Medicine, will report at the American Academy of Neurology meeting, in Philadelphia, successful diagnostic procedures and treatment options for BPPV.

BPPV is caused by misplaced calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) in the semicircular canals (SCC) in the inner ear that have broken free and are found in the fluid of the inner ear. When the head is moved in certain positions, it causes brief periods of vertigo.

"Patients with BPPV usually complain of vertigo in the morning when they get up or turn over in bed," according to Dr. Tusa. "It can also occur when the patient lies down in bed or tilts the head backwards, maybe while taking a shower or sitting in a dentist chair." Patients also complain of poor balance and trouble walking that may last for several hours following an episode of positional vertigo.

BPPV can affect three areas of the SCC, the posterior, the anterior and the horizontal SCCs. The most common is the posterior SCC.

Drs. Tusa and Herdman have studied several ways to diagnose and treat patients with BPPV. "A common test used to confirm the diagnosis of BPPV is the Dix-Hallpike test," says Dr. Herdman. "It involves turning the head to a certain degree while the patient is sitting, then quickly lying the patient back so the head is hanging off the examination table. If the patient has BPPV, the patient should feel a sense of dizziness." Patients can also be tested for BPPV using a sidelying test and a test of balance.

According to Drs. Tusa and Herdman, there are three basic bedside treatments for BPPV, all of which take less than five minutes to administer. They are canalith repositioning treatment (CRT), Liberatory treatment and Brandt-Daroff (BD) treatment.

CRT is used on patients with severe canalithiasis (free-floating otoconia). It is effective in 85-95% of patients with one treatment. Liberatory treatment is effective in dislodging otoconia attached to the cupula (the cover of the semicircular canals). This procedure has a success rate of 53% after one treatment and 76-90% after two treatments. However, this treatment is difficult to perform on elderly patients because of the quickness of the procedure. The BD treatment is a series of repetitive exercises that works by dispersing free-floating otoconia and possibly by dislodging any otoconia attached to the cupula. This is the best treatment for mild canalithiasis, when the patient still has symptoms but no signs of BPPV after a single treatment. BD treatment can also be used in patients with severe BPPV, but it is not the first choice since it causes vertigo and takes up to two weeks for success.

In all of the treatments, patients come to the Dizziness and Balance Center and undergo evaluation, testing and treatment by Drs. Tusa and Herdman. Then, in many cases, the patients learn how to administer the treatment themselves and can perform them at home. There are still more ways to treat other forms of BPPV in the anterior and horizontal SCCs. "Treatment varies according to the SCC involved, whether the otoconia is free-floating or attached to the cupula and the severity of the vertigo," says Dr. Tusa. "We hope our research will be of assistance to a number of people who haven’t been able to find relief from their vertigo elsewhere."

Emory’s Dizziness and Balance Center uses a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosis and treatment. It features physicians and therapists trained in neurology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, psychiatry and physical therapy. Specialized equipment, including a rotary chair to measure eye movements during head rotation and a dynamic platform posturography to test balance, help provide key information to aid in proper diagnosis.

Dr. Tusa, who holds joint appointments in the Emory Departments of Neurology, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, is the founder and former director of the University’s of Miami’s Dizziness and Eye Movement Center. Before that, he spent 13 years at Johns Hopkins University, where he began his research in vision and eye movement. He is the author of two books and numerous chapters and articles for professional journals concerning disorders of the eyes and ears.

Dr. Herdman supervises the Center’s Vestibular Rehabilitation Program, which includes balance and vestibular or inner ear retraining through a series of special exercises. She is the author of the nation’s most utilized textbook on vestibular rehabilitation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Emory University Health Sciences Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Emory University Health Sciences Center. "Emory Researchers Report Ways To Diagnose And Treat Patients With Vertigo." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010510071858.htm>.
Emory University Health Sciences Center. (2001, May 10). Emory Researchers Report Ways To Diagnose And Treat Patients With Vertigo. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010510071858.htm
Emory University Health Sciences Center. "Emory Researchers Report Ways To Diagnose And Treat Patients With Vertigo." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/05/010510071858.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins