Volume 49 Number 7, 2012
Pages 985 — 994
Abstract — Vestibular symptoms are persistent and problematic sequelae of blast exposure. Several lines of evidence suggest that these symptoms often stem from injury to the central nervous system. Current methods of assessing the vestibular system have described vestibular deficits that follow traumatic brain injury and differentiate blunt and blast trauma but have not examined the full range of vestibular functions that depend on the cerebral structures above the midbrain. Damage to the central vestibular circuits can lead to deficits in vital processes of spatial perception and navigation, in addition to dizziness and disequilibrium, and may also affect emotional functioning, particularly noradrenergically modulated states of anxiety. Perceptual functions can be assessed to determine the extent of central nervous system involvement in vestibular symptoms and to provide greater confidence when vestibular dysfunction is to be excluded. The ability to detect central vestibular dysfunction will significantly enhance our response to the dizziness and balance symptoms that are a common source of distress for Veterans.
Keywords: Afghanistan, anxiety, balance, blast injuries, brain injuries, central nervous system, Iraq, nonblast injuries, posttraumatic stress disorder, spatial perception, vestibular cortex, vestibular system.
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Franke LM, Walker WC, Cifu DX, Ochs AL, Lew HL. Sensorintegrative dysfunction underlying vestibular disorders after traumatic brain injury: A review. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(7):985-94.
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:03 PM