Genetics of vestibular disorders: pathophysiological insights

Lidia Frejo, Ina Giegling, Roberto Teggi, Jose A. Lopez-Escamez, Dan Rujescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The two most common vestibular disorders are motion sickness and vestibular migraine, affecting 30 and 1–2 % of the population respectively. Both are related to migraine and show a familial trend. Bilateral vestibular hypofunction is a rare condition, and some of patients also present cerebellar ataxia and neuropathy. We present recent advances in the genetics of vestibular disorders with familial aggregation. The clinical heterogeneity observed in different relatives of the same families suggests a variable penetrance and the interaction of several genes in each family. Some Mendelian sensorineural hearing loss also exhibits vestibular dysfunction, including DFNA9, DFNA11, DFNA15 and DFNA28. However, the most relevant finding during the past years is the familial clustering observed in Meniere’s disease. By using whole exome sequencing and combining bioinformatics tools, novel variants in DTNA and FAM136A genes have been identified in familial Meniere’s disease, and this genomic strategy will facilitate the discovery of the genetic basis of familial vestibular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-53
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Meniere disease
  • Motion sickness
  • Vestibular disorders
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Whole exome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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