New study finds patients with early symptoms of vestibular balance disorder show early signs of worsening

People who suffer from persistent postural perception dizziness (PPPD) experience unsteadiness, non-rotational vertigo, and lightheadedness. These symptoms are exacerbated by movement, upright posture, and visual stimuli. In a new study, scientists tried to find out if these aggravating factors are present in the period before the diagnosis of PPPD. They found that patients who develop PPPD are likely to have them soon after the onset of balance disorder symptoms.

The vestibular system, which is the link between the inner ear and the brain, helps the body maintain balance. When people experience vestibular symptoms, i.e. balance disorder symptoms, they can progress to persistent postural perception dizziness (PPPD), a chronic disorder where patients experience dizziness and vertigo without rotation, especially during movement, maintaining an upright posture and when exposed to complex visual stimuli. However, not everyone with vestibular symptoms develops PPPD, and it is unclear whether people with aggravating factors for PPPD tend to develop PPPD or not.

Recently, a research team consisting of Assistant Professor Kayoko Kabaya, Dr. Masaki Kondo, Dr. Shinichi Iwasaki and other researchers from Nagoya City University, Japan, analyzed the medical records of patients who were tested for symptoms. vestibular for the first time to identify predictive factors. to develop PPPD later, and to explore the possibility that patients with early aggravating factors are more likely to develop chronic PPPD after the onset of vestibular symptoms. “PPPD is often severe and resistant to treatment. We believe it is important to provide preventive interventions before PPPD develops, and we wanted to identify the characteristics of patients who are prone to PPPD,” says Dr. Kabaya, the lead author of the study. . This article was published in the journal Investigative otolaryngology laryngoscope.

In their study, the severity of symptoms experienced by patients was assessed using the Niigata PPPD Questionnaire (NPQ), which included questions about aggravating factors (upright posture, movement, and visual stimulation). In addition, perception of disability due to dizziness was assessed using a self-report scale called “The Dizziness Handicap Inventory”. Patients were then followed for more than 3 months, and the NPQ scores of patients who developed PPPD during follow-up were compared to those of patients who did not develop PPPD.

More than half of patients reported experiencing aggravating factors shortly after vestibular symptoms, making their symptoms worse. Approximately 10% of these patients developed PPPD during the follow-up period, and aggravating factors were found to have a more severe effect on vestibular symptoms in these patients. Notably, the NPQ scores of those who developed PPPD were significantly higher than those of those who did not.

“Our results suggest that patients who develop PPPD are likely to have its aggravating factors in the early stages of the disease after the onset of vestibular symptoms,” says Dr. Kabaya.

With these findings, the researchers are optimistic that their study could help establish preventive measures against the disease. “PPPD is a disease that causes long-term social loss and occurs as a result of acute vestibular symptoms. Based on our finding that patients with aggravating factors during acute vestibular symptoms are more likely to develop PPPD , our study could encourage the development of intervention protocols for such patients before they develop PPPD,” says Dr Kabaya.

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Material provided by Nagoya City University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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