Acute Vertigo Neurology Physiotherapy

Pathophysiology of Acute Vertigo

In this article we will discuss the Pathophysiology of Acute Vertigo

In this article, we will discuss the Pathophysiology of Acute Vertigo. So, let’s get started.


The spatial orientation and maintenance of

posture and equilibrium depends on three
sensory systems:

1. Vestibular system: There are two basic vestibular system reflexes subserving this function: (i) vestibulo-ocular reflexes that stabilise the position of the with respect to space so that images on the retina remain stationary, (ii) vestibulospinal reflexes that stabilise the head and body position for maintaining upright posture.

2. Visual system (retina to occipital cortex) that conveys the informations from the eyes to the cortex.

3. The somatosensory system that conveys peripheral informations from the skin, joint muscle receptors. The three stabilising systems overlap sufficiently to compensate for each other deficiencies.

Vertigo may represent either physiological stimulation or pathological dysfunction in any of the three systems

Nystagmus is useful indicator of vestibular dysfunction in patients with vertigo. Inhibition of the canals (caloric test) results in nystagmus to the side of the lesion, while excitation of canals results in nystagmus away from the canals (lesion).

3 replies on “Pathophysiology of Acute Vertigo”

My husband used to have terrible vertigo
(after he got punched waiting for a taxi and those weird people kept stomping his head while he was unconscious).
Turns out, those vertigo excersises really do the trick! It is a terrible condition to have because you never know when it hits …

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.