Central Dizziness

Good balance and stability require the interaction of information provided by the eyes, inner ears and muscles every time you move.  All this information comes together in a part of the brain called the cerebellum.

Central Dizziness (also known as vertebro-basilar insufficiency or cerebellar dysfunction) occurs when bloodflow to the cerebellum or brainstem is disrupted.  Symptoms may include:

  • Sudden onset vertigo
  • Double vision or loss of vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion 
  • Numbness 
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Ataxia (loss of muscle control during movement)
  • Poor coordination

Causes of Central Dizziness

Central dizziness is most common in patients with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), coronary or peripheral artery disease, hypertension or a history of smoking. It may result from vascular problems such as vertebro-basilar insufficience, a condition where arterial blockages cause decreased blood flow to the brain, increasing the risk of stroke. 

Treatment of Central Dizziness

Central Dizziness is the most difficult type of dizziness to treat as most balance therapy is designed to train the brain to use balance-related information more effectively. 

While balance therapy may help, the benefits are less predictable. Your doctor may also recommend medications, procedures, lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of stroke, or modifications to your living environment to reduce the risk of falling.
n a part of the brain called the cerebellum.

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Last Updated: 09-22-2016
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