bims-madeba Biomed News
on Mal de débarquement syndrome
Issue of 2021‒08‒08
four papers selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. PLoS One. 2021 ;16(8): e0255816
      This study aimed to examine the types and causes of dizziness experienced by individuals after a major earthquake. This cross-sectional study enrolled healthy participants who experienced the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes and their aftershocks. Participants completed a questionnaire survey on their symptoms and experiences after the earthquakes. The primary outcome was the occurrence of dizziness and the secondary outcome was the presence of autonomic dysfunction and anxiety. Among 4,231 eligible participants, 1,543 experienced post-earthquake dizziness. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that age (≥21, P < .001), female sex (P < .001), floor on which the individual was at the time (≥3, P = .007), tinnitus/ear fullness (P < .001), anxiety (P < .001), symptoms related to autonomic dysfunction (P = .04), and prior history of motion sickness (P = .002) were significantly associated with the onset of post-earthquake dizziness. Thus suggesting that earthquake-related effects significantly affect inner ear symptoms, autonomic function, and psychological factors. Earthquake-induced disequilibrium may be further influenced by physical stressors, including sensory disruptions induced by earthquake vibrations, changes in living conditions, and autonomic stress. This study increases our understanding of human equilibrium in response to natural disasters.
  2. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2021 Apr 01. 27(2): 420-446
      PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Determining the etiology of disorders that manifest with chronic dizziness can seem a daunting task, but extracting some basic elements of the patient's history can reduce the differential diagnosis significantly. This includes determining initial triggers, timing of symptoms, associated features, and exacerbating factors. This article covers distinct causes of chronic dizziness including persistent postural perceptual dizziness, mal de débarquement syndrome, motion sickness and visually induced motion sickness, bilateral vestibulopathy, and persistent dizziness after mild concussion.RECENT FINDINGS: To date, none of the disorders above has a cure but are considered chronic syndromes with fluctuations that are both innate and driven by environmental stressors. As such, the mainstay of therapy for chronic disorders of dizziness involves managing factors that exacerbate symptoms and adding vestibular rehabilitation or cognitive-behavioral therapy alone or in combination, as appropriate. These therapies are supplemented by serotonergic antidepressants that modulate sensory gating and reduce anxiety. Besides expectation management, ruling out concurrent disorders and recognizing behavioral and lifestyle factors that affect symptom severity are critical issues in reducing morbidity for each disorder.
    SUMMARY: Many syndromes of chronic dizziness can be diagnosed by recognition of key features, although many symptoms overlap between these groups. Symptoms may be manageable and improve with time, but they are often incompletely relieved.
  3. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2021 Apr 01. 27(2): 306-329
      PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This article reviews a method of obtaining the medical history of patients presenting with dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. By combining elements of the history with examination, the goal is to identify patterns and an effective differential diagnosis for this group of patients to help lead to an accurate diagnosis.RECENT FINDINGS: Studies over the past dozen years have changed the historical approach to patients with dizziness from one based primarily on how the patient describes the sensation of dizziness. This older approach can lead to misdiagnosis, so a preferred method puts greater emphasis on whether the dizziness is acute or chronic, episodic or continuous, or evoked by or brought on by an event or circumstance so that a pattern may be derived that better narrows the differential diagnosis and focused examination can further narrow to a cause or causes.
    SUMMARY: Dizziness is a common symptom of many possible causes. This article will help clinicians navigate gathering the history and examination to formulate a working diagnosis in patients affected by dizziness.
  4. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2021 Aug 02. 8919887211036185
      OBJECTIVE: The incidence of dizziness and vertigo is increasing with age, and symptoms lead to significant limitations in daily living and to disability in older patients.METHOD: Data of 1,752 patients with chronic dizziness/vertigo subjected to a tertiary care, specialized interdisciplinary vertigo center were analyzed. Age, gender, symptoms, medical diagnosis, and Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) were collected based on a questionnaire and analysis of associated patient records. The patients were assigned to 3 age groups (< 41, 41-65, and > 65 years).
    RESULTS: 33.7% of the patients were older than 65 years. Frequency of symptoms and DHI score increased with age. Older patients reported less frequently about coexisting symptoms such as nausea, headache, tinnitus, ear pressure, and visual impairment. Multisensory deficit, central vertigo, bilateral vestibulopathy, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo were diagnosed increasingly with age, while persistent postural-perceptual dizziness and vestibular migraine were diagnosed in the younger age groups.
    CONCLUSION: In the diagnostic work-up of older patients age-specific characteristics of dizziness/vertigo have to be considered. The older patient generally is more impaired by the symptoms but possibly will not report typical diagnosis-defining symptoms.
    Keywords:  age-specific characteristics; dizziness; older age; vertigo