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Altered visual conscious awareness in patients with vestibular dysfunctions; a cross-sectional observation study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-04-20, 10:21 authored by Mishaal Sharif, Yougan Saman, Rose Burling, Oliver Rea, Rakesh Patel, Douglas JK Barrett, Peter Rea, Amir Kheradmand, Qadeer Arshad

Background

Patients with vestibular dysfunctions often experience visual-induced symptoms. Here we asked whether such visual dependence can be related to alterations in visual conscious awareness in these patients.


Methods

To measure visual conscious awareness, we used the effect of motion-induced blindness (MIB,) in which the perceptual awareness of the visual stimulus alternates despite its unchanged physical characteristics. In this phenomenon, a salient visual target spontaneously disappears and subsequently reappears from visual perception when presented against a moving visual background. The number of perceptual switches during the experience of the MIB stimulus was measured for 120 s in 15 healthy controls, 15 patients with vestibular migraine, 15 patients with benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV) and 15 with migraine without vestibular symptoms.


Results

Patients with vestibular dysfunctions (i.e., both vestibular migraine and BPPV) exhibited increased perceptual fluctuations during MIB compared to healthy controls and migraine patients without vertigo. In VM patients, those with more severe symptoms exhibited higher fluctuations of visual awareness (i.e., positive correlation), whereas, in BPPV patients, those with more severe symptoms had lower fluctuations of visual awareness (i.e., negative correlation).


Implications

Taken together, these findings show that fluctuations of visual awareness are linked to the severity of visual-induced symptoms in patients with vestibular dysfunctions, and distinct pathophysiological mechanisms may mediate visual vertigo in peripheral versus central vestibular dysfunctions.

History

Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, University of Leicester

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Volume

448

Pagination

120617

Publisher

Elsevier BV

issn

0022-510X

Copyright date

2023

Available date

2024-03-22

Language

en

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