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Journal of vestibular research : equilibrium & orientation

Effects of vestibular training on motion sickness, nystagmus, and subjective vertical.


PMID 18626134

Abstract

Pitch head-and-trunk movements during constant velocity rotation are a provocative vestibular stimulus that produces vertigo and nausea. When exposed to this stimulus repeatedly, motion sickness symptoms diminish as the subjects habituate. Acetylleucine is a drug that is used to treat acute vestibular vertigo. In this study, we wanted to ascertain whether this drug (a) lessened motion sickness or delayed habituation; (b) accelerated the recovery following habituation; and (c) whether changes in the subjective vertical accompanied habituation. Twenty subjects were administered acetylleucine or placebo in a double-blind study during a five-day vestibular training. Horizontal vestibulo-ocular reflex, optokinetic nystagmus, smooth pursuit, and subjective visual vertical were evaluated before, during, and up to two months after the vestibular training. Based on Graybiel's diagnostic criteria, motion sickness decreased steadily in each vestibular training session, and there was no difference between the scores in the acetylleucine and placebo groups. Post-rotatory nystagmus peak velocity and time constant also declined in both groups at the same rate. Thus, acetylleucine neither reduced the nausea associated with this provocative stimulus, nor hastened the acquisition or retention of vestibular habituation of motion sickness and nystagmus. There was no difference in optokinetic nystagmus and smooth pursuit between the acetylleucine and placebo groups. However, subjects showed larger error in the subjective visual vertical after habituation, which indicates that spatial orientation is also affected by vestibular training.

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