Abstract: Positional vertigo is a common neurologic emergency and mostly the etiology is peripheral. However, central diseases may mimic peripheral positional vertigo at their initial presentation. We here describe the results of a visual suppression test in six patients with spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6), a central positional vertigo, and nine patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the major peripheral positional vertigo. As a result, the visual suppression value of both diseases differed significantly; e.g., 22.5% in SCA6 and 64.3% in BPPV (p < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between the visual suppression value and disease duration, cerebellar atrophy, and CAG repeat length of SCA6 but they were not statistically significant. In conclusion, the present study showed for the first time that visual suppression is impaired in SCA6, a central positional vertigo, but preserved in BPPV, the major peripheral positional vertigo, by directly comparing both groups. The abnormality in the SCA6 group presumably reflects dysfunction in the central visual fixation pathway at the cerebellar flocculus and nodulus. This simple test might aid differential diagnosis of peripheral and central positional vertigo at the earlier stage of disease.
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Kishi, M.; Sakakibara, R.; Yoshida, T.; Yamamoto, M.; Suzuki, M.; Kataoka, M.; Tsuyusaki, Y.; Tateno, A.; Tateno, F. Visual Suppression is Impaired in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 but Preserved in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Diagnostics 2012, 2, 52-56.
Kishi M, Sakakibara R, Yoshida T, Yamamoto M, Suzuki M, Kataoka M, Tsuyusaki Y, Tateno A, Tateno F. Visual Suppression is Impaired in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 but Preserved in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Diagnostics. 2012; 2(4):52-56.
Kishi, Masahiko; Sakakibara, Ryuji; Yoshida, Tomoe; Yamamoto, Masahiko; Suzuki, Mitsuya; Kataoka, Manabu; Tsuyusaki, Yohei; Tateno, Akihiko; Tateno, Fuyuki. 2012. "Visual Suppression is Impaired in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 but Preserved in Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo." Diagnostics 2, no. 4: 52-56.