Dizziness, lightheadedness, sensations of rocking or spinning when perfectly still… all of these and more are symptoms of vertigo. Self-induced vertigo, often experienced by children by spinning around, lasts only a few minutes but other, spontaneous types of vertigo can last for hours or even days. Vertigo of this kind is fairly common too, with as much as 85% of people 65 years or older experiencing vestibular vertigo. But today, a new type of vertigo, recurrent spontaneous vertigo (RSV), has emerged and scientists and doctors agree that it too may be treatable.
Recurrent spontaneous vertigo is not accompanied by any neurologic symptoms and doesn’t satisfy the diagnosis of Ménière disease, vestibular migraine, vestibular neuritis, which are all episodic vestibular syndromes and represent the largest group of patients who suffer from dizziness. What distinguishes RSV is that it’s characterized by prolonged headshaking nystagmus, or a condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements, and a marked susceptibility to motion sickness. These symptoms can be difficult to diagnose and also quite debilitating so Dr Ji-Soo Kim, MD, PhD, of Seoul National University in South Korea, and several Neurology colleagues began a study to determine if RSV could be treated.
The first documented occurrence of recurrent spontaneous vertigo traces back to 2004, when Dr. Kim saw a young man with vigorous head-shaking and severe motion symptoms but no history of migraine or auditory symptoms. After that, from 2004 to 2015, Dr Kim’s group saw nearly 4,000 patients with the same symptoms of what is now known as recurrent spontaneous vertigo at the Dizziness Clinic of Seoul National University Bundang Hospital and could not determine the cause of the vertigo for 338 of them.
“Among the 338 people with vertigo with no known cause, 35 had this new condition and were included in the study. The participants had attacks of vertigo ranging from two or three times a week to once a year. They also experienced nausea or vomiting, headaches and intolerance of head motions during the attacks. The participants were compared to 35 people with other conditions that can cause vertigo, such Meniere’s disease, vestibular migraine and vestibular neuritis. The test measured the time constant, or the time that represents the speed with which the reflexive eye movements can respond to change. For those with the new condition, the time constant during the primary phase of the nystagmus was 12 seconds, while it was six seconds for those with Meniere’s disease and five seconds for those with vestibular neuritis and vestibular migraine. The neurologists also found that people with the new type of vertigo were more likely to have severe motion sickness than those with other types of vertigo. A total of 20 of the 35 people with the new type of vertigo who had frequent attacks and severe symptoms were given preventive medication. About one-third of those had partial or complete recovery with the new medication. During the long-term follow-up of an average of 12 years after the first symptoms for 31 participants, five reported no more attacks, 14 said their symptoms had improved and only one said symptoms had gotten worse.”
While pharmaceutical treatments often leave patients fatigued and unable to perform normal daily tasks, Chiropractic Neurology may help. Your Chiropractic Neurologist will perform a thorough neurological physical examination including medical history, to address your specific needs and develop a treatment plan unique to you. This approach, coupled with comprehensive follow-up care, brings many patients fast and marked improvement, eliminating the need for drugs or length care plans.
If you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo, headaches or other symptoms and would like to learn more about how Chiropractic Neurology can help, please contact Dr Marc Ellis and his team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.