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May 1967

Demyelinating Diseases as a Cause for Vertigo

Author Affiliations

Burlington, Vt
From the Division of Neurology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(5):537-538. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040539012

DEMYELINATING diseases affect the central nervous system only, and chiefly the subcortical white matter of the cerebrum and cerebellum and the tracts of the brain stem and spinal cord with occasional encroachment on gray matter such as the vestibular nucleus of the brain stem and its connections. They do not affect end-organs or peripheral nerves, including vestibular.

Virtually all types of disease of the central nervous system can and do produce secondary demyelination and are excluded from this discussion. The so-called primary or genuine demyelinating diseases comprise a relatively small group of disorders lumped together because (1) the lesions primarily attack the white matter and (2) the cause of the lesions is unknown. The group consists essentially of three categories of disease: (1) diffuse sclerosis; (2) multiple sclerosis (MS); and (3) acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In the group as a whole the symptom of vertigo is infrequent. Further, because of the

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