bims-madeba Biomed News
on Mal de débarquement syndrome
Issue of 2021‒03‒28
three papers selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. Front Neurol. 2021 ;12 636224
      Mal de débarquement syndrome (MdDS) is a motion-induced disorder of oscillating vertigo that persists after the motion has ceased. The neuroimaging characteristics of the MdDS brain state have been investigated with studies on brain metabolism, structure, functional connectivity, and measurements of synchronicity. Baseline metabolism and resting-state functional connectivity studies indicate that a limbic focus in the left entorhinal cortex and amygdala may be important in the pathology of MdDS, as these structures are hypermetabolic in MdDS and exhibit increased functional connectivity to posterior sensory processing areas and reduced connectivity to the frontal and temporal cortices. Both structures are tunable with periodic stimulation, with neurons in the entorhinal cortex required for spatial navigation, acting as a critical efferent pathway to the hippocampus, and sending and receiving projections from much of the neocortex. Voxel-based morphometry measurements have revealed volume differences between MdDS and healthy controls in hubs of multiple resting-state networks including the default mode, salience, and executive control networks. In particular, volume in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortices decreases and volume in the bilateral inferior frontal gyri/anterior insulas increases with longer duration of illness. Paired with noninvasive neuromodulation interventions, functional neuroimaging with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and simultaneous fMRI-EEG have shown changes in resting-state functional connectivity that correlate with symptom modulation, particularly in the posterior default mode network. Reduced parieto-occipital connectivity with the entorhinal cortex and reduced long-range fronto-parieto-occipital connectivity correlate with symptom improvement. Though there is a general theme of desynchronization correlating with reduced MdDS symptoms, the prediction of optimal stimulation parameters for noninvasive brain stimulation in individuals with MdDS remains a challenge due to the large parameter space. However, the pairing of functional neuroimaging and noninvasive brain stimulation can serve as a probe into the biological underpinnings of MdDS and iteratively lead to optimal parameter space identification.
    Keywords:  functional MRI; independent component phase coherence; mal de débarquement syndrome; noninvasive brain stimulation; persistent oscillating vertigo; positron emission tomography; voxel-based morphometry
  2. Neuromodulation. 2021 Mar 23.
      OBJECTIVES: Persistent oscillating vertigo that occurs after entrainment to periodic motion is known as Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDS). Down-modulation of this oscillating vertigo is associated with reduction in long-range resting-state functional connectivity between fronto-parieto-occipital regions. In order to determine the association between this oscillating vertigo and hypersynchrony as measured by the auditory steady-state response (ASSR), we investigated the differences in ASSR between individuals with MdDS and healthy controls as well as the change in ASSR in individuals with MdDS before and after treatment with transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS).MATERIALS AND METHODS: Individuals with treatment refractory MdDS lasting at least six months received single administrations of fronto-parieto-occipital tACS in an "n-of-1" double-blind randomized design: alpha-frequency in-phase, alpha-frequency antiphase, and gamma frequency antiphase control. The treatment protocol that led to the most acute reduction in symptoms and improved balance was administered for 10-12 sessions given over three days (each session 20-min at 2-4 mA).
    RESULTS: Twenty-four individuals with MdDS participated (mean age 53.0 ± 11.8 years [range: 22-66 years, median: 57.0 years]; mean duration of illness 38.6 ± 53.4 months [range: 6-240 months, median: 18.0 months]). Individuals with MdDS had elevated ASSR compared to healthy controls at baseline (t11  = 5.95, p < 0.001). There was a significant decrease in the 40 Hz-ASSR response between responders compared to nonresponders to tACS (t-test, t15  = -2.26, p = 0.04). Both in-phase and anti-phase alpha tACS lead to symptom improvement but only antiphase alpha-tACS led to a significant decrease of 40 Hz-ASSR (t-test, t12  = -9.6, p < 0.001).
    CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that tACS has the potential to reduce network-level hypersynchrony and pathological susceptibility to entrainment by sensory input. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful demonstration of desynchronization by noninvasive brain stimulation leading to reduced vertigo. Other disease states associated with pathological functional coupling of neuronal networks may similarly benefit from this novel approach.
    Keywords:  Auditory steady-state response; Mal de Débarquement Syndrome; persistent oscillating vertigo; transcranial alternating current stimulation
  3. Front Neurol. 2021 ;12 635259
      Vestibular and optokinetic space is represented in three-dimensions in vermal lobules IX-X (uvula, nodulus) and hemisphere lobule X (flocculus) of the cerebellum. Vermal lobules IX-X encodes gravity and head movement using the utricular otolith and the two vertical semicircular canals. Hemispheric lobule X encodes self-motion using optokinetic feedback about the three axes of the semicircular canals. Vestibular and visual adaptation of this circuitry is needed to maintain balance during perturbations of self-induced motion. Vestibular and optokinetic (self-motion detection) stimulation is encoded by cerebellar climbing and mossy fibers. These two afferent pathways excite the discharge of Purkinje cells directly. Climbing fibers preferentially decrease the discharge of Purkinje cells by exciting stellate cell inhibitory interneurons. We describe instances adaptive balance at a behavioral level in which prolonged vestibular or optokinetic stimulation evokes reflexive eye movements that persist when the stimulation that initially evoked them stops. Adaptation to prolonged optokinetic stimulation also can be detected at cellular and subcellular levels. The transcription and expression of a neuropeptide, corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), is influenced by optokinetically-evoked olivary discharge and may contribute to optokinetic adaptation. The transcription and expression of microRNAs in floccular Purkinje cells evoked by long-term optokinetic stimulation may provide one of the subcellular mechanisms by which the membrane insertion of the GABAA receptors is regulated. The neurosteroids, estradiol (E2) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), influence adaptation of vestibular nuclear neurons to electrically-induced potentiation and depression. In each section of this review, we discuss how adaptive changes in the vestibular and optokinetic subsystems of lobule X, inferior olivary nuclei and vestibular nuclei may contribute to the control of balance.
    Keywords:  Purkinje cell; cerebellum; corticotropin releasing factor; inferior olive; microRNA; otolith; semicircular canal; vestibular