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The evaluation of dizziness in elderly patients.
  1. N. Ahmad,
  2. J. A. Wilson,
  3. R. M. Barr-Hamilton,
  4. D. M. Kean,
  5. W. J. MacLennan
  1. Geriatric Medicine Unit, City Hospital, Edinburgh, UK.


    Twenty-one elderly patients with dizziness underwent a comprehensive medical and otoneurological evaluation. The majority had vertigo, limited mobility and restricted neck movements. Poor visual acuity, postural hypotension and presbyacusis were also frequent findings. Electronystagmography revealed positional nystagmus in 12, disordered smooth pursuit in 18, and abnormal caloric responses in nine. Magnetic resonance imaging showed ischaemic changes in six out of eight patients. Although dizziness in the elderly is clearly multifactorial, the suggested importance of vertebrobasilar ischaemia warrants further consideration as vertigo has been shown to be a risk factor for stroke.

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