Cerebral plasticity in acute vestibular deficit

Marco Alessandrini, Bianca Napolitano, Ernesto Bruno, Letizia Belcastro, Fabrizio Ottaviani, Orazio Schillaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of acute vestibular deficit on the cerebral cortex and its correlation with clinical signs and symptoms. Eight right-handed patients affected by vestibular neuritis, a purely peripheral vestibular lesion, underwent two brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in 1 month. The first SPECT analysis revealed reduced blood flow in the temporal frontal area of the right hemisphere in seven of eight patients, independent of the right/left location of the lesion. The alteration was present always in the right, non-dominant hemisphere and was reversible in some patients 1 month after the onset, together with attenuation of signs and symptoms. It may be hypothesized that the transient reduction of cortical blood flow and subsequently of cortical activity in the non-dominant hemisphere, also the expression of cerebral plasticity, may serve as a defense mechanism aimed to attenuate the vertigo symptom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1551
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • Cerebral plasticity
  • Cortical representation
  • Vestibular deficit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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