Vestibular migraine: still controversial, but more discussion about it
The combination of vertigo, dizziness and headache is not a very pleasant one. The term vestibular refers to the system for perception of balance.
Receptors are located in the internal ear and send their informations to the brainstem. There, they connect with all the systems responsible for eye movements and body stability. The ultimate goal: see where you’re going and be able to stand and walk! Those who suffer from vestibular dysfunction feel unstable, dizzy, nauseated and sometimes spinning. Eyes may move abnormally. Migraines and vertigo are associated in many ways: migraineurs have more car sickness, more benign vertigo (caused by the displacement of little crystals in the ear receptor organ) and more Meniere’s disease. But even without any of these problems, migraineurs can suffer from vertigo and dizziness caused by similar mechanisms than migraine itself: inflammation, chemical and energy imbalance, perception dysfunction. Migraineurs are hypersensitive to light, sound and smells…it is logical that they could be hypersensitive to movement as well. Research teams are now trying to describe vestibular migraine, and find clues to its mechanisms. For now, treatments are the same than the ones used for migraines (beta-blockers, topiramate, anti-depressants).