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This study compared vestibular functioning in a migrainous vertigo group, a migraine without vertigo group and a control group. It was hypothesised that the migrainous vertigo group would perform worse in tests of vestibular function and gait than the other groups during a non-migrainous period.
Sixty-six participants (22 per group) were assessed using the head shake sensory organisation test, the gaze stabilisation test, the dynamic visual acuity test and the functional gait assessment. Separate analyses of variance and planned pair-wise comparisons (alpha = 0.05) were performed.
There was a difference between the results of the non-migraine group and the two migraine groups for the gaze stabilisation pitch test (p < 0.003), in which the control group showed faster head movement. There were also group differences in functional gait (p < 0.0001); the control group scored highest and the migrainous vertigo group scored lowest. There were no differences in the vestibular spinal reflex and balance tests.
These findings indicate underlying differences in the vestibular ocular reflexes and function of migraine sufferers compared with those who do not suffer migraines, but the difference is most pronounced for those with migrainous vertigo. This suggests that vestibular rehabilitation for migrainous vertigo should focus on vestibular ocular reflexes and functional retraining.
The current study compared a migrainous vertigo group with a migraine without vertigo group. It was hypothesised that those with migrainous vertigo would have more abnormal test results during a non-migrainous period than those who suffer from migraine without vertigo.
Both groups, comprising 10 participants each, were tested using: the gaze stabilisation test, dynamic visual acuity test, sensory organisation test, head shake sensory organisation test and functional gait assessment.
Eighteen females and 2 males aged 18–53 years participated. There were no significant differences between the two groups for the dynamic visual acuity test, sensory organisation test or head shake sensory organisation test. However, mean dynamic visual acuity loss was greater in both groups than in a normal population, and the head shake sensory organisation (sway) test was well below the normal mean. The functional gait assessment showed a significant difference (p = 0.0025) between the two groups.
Both groups showed abnormalities in vestibular functioning compared with norms, suggesting that both had some degree of vestibular dysfunction. However, vestibular dysfunction was greater in the migrainous vertigo group than in the migraine without vertigo group, as evidenced by differences in functional gait assessment.
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