Researchers find new mechanism of vestibular neuritis

researchers find new mechanism of vestibular neuritis – The News Mill

ANI Photo | Researchers find new mechanism of vestibular neuritis

Researchers at Korea University’s Anam Hospital have uncovered a new mechanism of vestibular neuritis.
Vestibular neuritis is one of the most common causes of acute dizziness. It is believed to be caused by inflammation in the vestibular nerve and inner ear, which are important for balance and body motion sensations.
The findings of this study were published in the journal Neurology.
Various processes have been proposed as the cause of vestibular neuritis, such as reactivation of latent herpes virus or peripheral blood circulation disturbance in the inner ear, however, the specific reason has yet to be determined.
Prof. Lee and Park, working together as a team (The Neurotology and Neuro-ophthalmology Laboratory of Korea University’s Anam Hospital), have discovered a link between anti-GQ1b antibodies and vestibular neuritis.
The ganglioside antigen is found throughout the central nervous system, including the human vestibular nerve and several cranial nerves, and anti-ganglioside antibodies are known to produce a variety of neurological symptoms by attacking ganglioside cells that exist between nerve cell membranes. GQ1b is mostly located in the cranial nerves that control ocular movement. Thus, when autoimmunity develops against those antigens, patients typically appear with double vision as a sign of ‘anti-GQ1b antibody syndrome’. Based on previous research, Prof. Lee discovered that the GQ1b antigen is also widely expressed in the vestibular nerve and cell body, providing insights for the current study.
The research team analyzed 105 patients with vestibular neuritis who had acute dizziness and visited Korea University’s Anam Hospital from 2019 to 2023. 11 per cent of these patients were confirmed antiganglioside antibody positive.
Compared to those not having these antibodies, bilateral vestibular damage was observed in 33 per cent of the patients with those antibodies. The antibody converted negative along with the improvement of the functional deficits of the vestibular nerve.
The research team explained, “The fact that autoimmunity plays a role in the development of acute dizziness, may help understand the mechanisms of other various vestibular disorders, too. We anticipate that this research may be a future springboard for immunotherapy in patients presenting with acute vestibular syndrome.”
Prof. Sun-Uk Lee, the leading author of this research said, “Acute dizziness causes great discomfort to patients and is also difficult to properly be diagnosed, depleting many resources for both patients and society. We hope our research may help patients suffering from dizziness. As the association is confirmed clinically, follow-up research will be conducted on how to incorporate these results into treatment.” (ANI)

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