To evaluate the contribution of vestibular pathology to cognitive and affective complaints of patients with and without brain trauma.
An outpatient balance disorders clinic within a tertiary care neuroscience institute.
200 patients with dizziness—half with a recent history of brain trauma and half without.
Main Outcome Measures:
The Dizziness Handicap Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory were prospectively administered. Neurological examination and vestibular testing were performed to arrive at a diagnosis for the dizziness. Multiple regression analyses were carried out using vestibular diagnosis, psychiatric diagnosis, and trauma history as predictors of the inventory scores.
Perceived disability was higher in dizzy patients with a history of brain trauma compared with dizzy patients without a history of trauma. A diagnosis of vestibular disease had no influence on perceived disability. Similarly, cognitive complaints were more common in dizzy patients with a history of brain trauma compared to dizzy patients without a history of trauma, but a diagnosis of vestibular disease had no influence on the frequency of cognitive complaints.
In patients with postconcussive dizziness, cognitive complaints are likely due to neurologic injury or affective disturbance. In dizzy patients without brain trauma, cognitive complaints are likely due to concurrent affective disturbance.