Vestibular functioning and migraine: comparing those with and without vertigo to a normal population.J Laryngol Otol. 2013 Dec; 127(12):1169-76.JL
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.