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Sponsored by: Jordan Hearing and Balance, LLC South Jordan Utah
Lynn S. Alvord PhD
Nervous System Causes of Dizziness
It should be remembered that vertigo, imbalance or dizziness can be due to causes other than the inner ear. These may include disorders of the cerebellum, brainstem or brain, such as tumors, strokes, or degenerative nervous system disorders. Generally, inner ear causes of vertigo are referred to as “peripheral vestibular” disorders. The vestibular system, however, also consists of its central nervous system components, problems of which would be referred to as being “central vestibular”. In addition, non-vestibular causes of central nervous system dizziness can occur. Usually, central nervous system causes of dizziness, as well as central vestibular disorders, have additional neurologic symptoms (headache, numbness, lack of function of a portion of the body, etc.). Also, usually peripheral vestibular disorders (inner ear) have a characteristic type of nystagmus, namely, follows Alexander’s law (the nystagmus is enhanced with gaze toward the fast phase of the nystagmus); nystagmus is suppressed with visual fixation, and nystagmus is enhanced with head movement.