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Ethanol consumption impairs vestibulo-ocular reflex function measured by the video head impulse test and dynamic visual acuity


Roth, T N; Weber, K P; Wettstein, V G; Marks, G B; Rosengren, S M; Hegemann, S C A (2014). Ethanol consumption impairs vestibulo-ocular reflex function measured by the video head impulse test and dynamic visual acuity. Journal of Vestibular Research, 24(4):289-95.

Abstract

Ethanol affects many parts of the nervous system, from the periphery to higher cognitive functions. Due to the established effects of ethanol on vestibular and oculomotor function, we wished to examine its effect on two new tests of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR): the video head impulse test (vHIT) and dynamic visual acuity (DVA). We tested eight healthy subjects with no history of vestibular disease after consumption of standardized drinks of 40% ethanol. We used a repeated measures design to track vestibular function over multiple rounds of ethanol consumption up to a maximum breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of 1.38 per mil. All tests were normal at baseline. VOR gain measured by vHIT decreased by 25% at the highest BrAC level tested in each subject. Catch-up saccades were negligible at baseline and increased in number and size with increasing ethanol consumption (from 0.13° to 1.43° cumulative amplitude per trial). DVA scores increased by 86% indicating a deterioration of acuity, while static visual acuity (SVA) remained unchanged. Ethanol consumption systematically impaired the VOR evoked by high-acceleration head impulses and led to a functional loss of visual acuity during head movement.

Abstract

Ethanol affects many parts of the nervous system, from the periphery to higher cognitive functions. Due to the established effects of ethanol on vestibular and oculomotor function, we wished to examine its effect on two new tests of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR): the video head impulse test (vHIT) and dynamic visual acuity (DVA). We tested eight healthy subjects with no history of vestibular disease after consumption of standardized drinks of 40% ethanol. We used a repeated measures design to track vestibular function over multiple rounds of ethanol consumption up to a maximum breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of 1.38 per mil. All tests were normal at baseline. VOR gain measured by vHIT decreased by 25% at the highest BrAC level tested in each subject. Catch-up saccades were negligible at baseline and increased in number and size with increasing ethanol consumption (from 0.13° to 1.43° cumulative amplitude per trial). DVA scores increased by 86% indicating a deterioration of acuity, while static visual acuity (SVA) remained unchanged. Ethanol consumption systematically impaired the VOR evoked by high-acceleration head impulses and led to a functional loss of visual acuity during head movement.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 January 2014
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 14:32
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 17:25
Publisher:IOS Press
ISSN:0957-4271
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3233/VES-140520
PubMed ID:25095773

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