Motion sickness.Handb Clin Neurol. 2016; 137:371-90.HC
Over 2000 years ago the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote, "sailing on the sea proves that motion disorders the body." Indeed, the word "nausea" derives from the Greek root word naus, hence "nautical," meaning a ship. The primary signs and symptoms of motion sickness are nausea and vomiting. Motion sickness can be provoked by a wide variety of transport environments, including land, sea, air, and space. The recent introduction of new visual technologies may expose more of the population to visually induced motion sickness. This chapter describes the signs and symptoms of motion sickness and different types of provocative stimuli. The "how" of motion sickness (i.e., the mechanism) is generally accepted to involve sensory conflict, for which the evidence is reviewed. New observations concern the identification of putative "sensory conflict" neurons and the underlying brain mechanisms. But what reason or purpose does motion sickness serve, if any? This is the "why" of motion sickness, which is analyzed from both evolutionary and nonfunctional maladaptive theoretic perspectives. Individual differences in susceptibility are great in the normal population and predictors are reviewed. Motion sickness susceptibility also varies dramatically between special groups of patients, including those with different types of vestibular disease and in migraineurs. Finally, the efficacy and relative advantages and disadvantages of various behavioral and pharmacologic countermeasures are evaluated.