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vestibular disorders

vestibular disorders

Gallaudet Eleven

You are probably familiar with the premise of “Ocean’s Eleven,” a team of highly specialized criminals take down a seemingly impenetrable casino vault. But are you familiar with the Gallaudet Eleven? In the 1950s, 11 men were recruited from Gallaudet University to help study the effects of extended exposure to weightlessness on the human body. What made this team of men so unique was that most team members had acquired spinal meningitis, which severely damaged their vestibular systems in addition to impairing their hearing.

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Sports-Related Concussions and Vestibular Symptoms

The annual estimate for sports-related concussions in the United States is between 1.6 and 3.8 million cases. Concussions produce a variety of symptoms with a headache as the top complaint. Other common complaints include auditory-vestibular symptoms, such as dizziness, tinnitus, and sound sensitivity.  Recently, Chorney et al. (2017) examined rates of audiovestibular symptoms following sports-related concussions among college athletes. Data were acquired from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System (ISS). 

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Detecting Hearing Loss, Vertigo Via Blood Tests

On the one hand, the ability to detect inner-ear proteins as biomarkers of hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction from blood samples is very promising, but on the other, how hard is it to get the more primary care physicians to refer for a hearing test?

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Meclizine: Update Issues and Answers

Desmond (2015) reports that Meclizine (aka Antivert, Nonine, and Dramamine II) is an antihistamine with antiemetic and anti-cholinergic properties (i.e., anticholinergics tend to block the transmission of acetylcholine in the PNS and CNS). MedicineNet.com reports that “Meclizine is an antihistamine with antiemetic and antispasmodic activity. It suppresses the nervous system by blocking the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

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Cochlear Implants and Vestibular Anomalies

Cushing et al (2013) reported on 153 children with profound sensorinerual hearing loss (SNHL), 119 of whom had unilateral cochlear implants (CI) at the time of testing. Cushing and colleagues reported vestibular end-organ dysfunction was present in half of the subjects, and of note, none of the children reported signs or symptoms of vestibular injury after receiving their CI.

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Academy Announces Dr. Janky as Honorary Chair for Balance Awareness Week

The American Academy of Audiology is proud to announce that Academy member Dr. Kristen Janky has been named the 2015 Honorary Chair for the Vestibular Disorders Associations Balance Awareness Week. “I feel privileged to have been selected as this year’s chair because I feel strongly that as vestibular professionals we share an obligation to help patients understand that vestibular disorders are treatable illnesses,” says Dr. Janky. 

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Pediatric Cochlear Implant Failures and Vestibular Anomalies

Beck et al (2015) reported vestibular and balance disorders are highly associated with SNHL in children, however, most professionals don’t screen for vestibular dysfunction in (these same) children. The authors estimated the prevalence of vestibular and balance disorders in children may be as high as 15 percent of all children, and up to 70 percent children with SNHL.  

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Falls, Dizziness, Diagnosis, and Medications

Migraine, Meniere’s Disease (MD), and vestibular migraine (VM) likely share a common pathogenesis. Unfortunately,  there is no “gold-standard” lab test to identify the “correct” diagnosis. Further, the audiologist, otolaryngologist, or neurologist (or other) must interpret the case history, physical findings, and test results to establish the differential diagnosis. Unfortunately, overlapping terms may be used to indicate the same (or highly similar) phenomena (Beck et al, 2013).

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