cerebral vertigo

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a sensation of rotation or movement of one's self (subjective vertigo) or of one's surroundings (objective vertigo) in any plane. The term is sometimes used erroneously as a synonym for dizziness. Vertigo may result from diseases of the inner ear or may be due to disturbances of the vestibular centers or pathways in the central nervous system.
benign paroxysmal positional vertigo recurrent vertigo and nystagmus occurring when the head is placed in certain positions, usually not associated with lesions of the central nervous system.
benign positional vertigo (benign postural vertigo) benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
central vertigo that due to disorder of the central nervous system.
cerebral vertigo vertigo resulting from a brain lesion, such as in meningogenic labyrinthitis. Called also organic vertigo.
disabling positional vertigo constant vertigo or dysequilibrium and nausea in the upright position, without hearing disturbance or loss of vestibular function.
labyrinthine vertigo Meniere's disease.
organic vertigo cerebral vertigo.
peripheral vertigo vestibular vertigo.
positional vertigo that associated with a specific position of the head in space or with changes in position of the head in space.
vestibular vertigo vertigo due to disturbances of the vestibular centers or pathways in the central nervous system.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

cerebral vertigo

A nonspecific term for vertigo caused by an organic brain disease; e.g., central vertigo.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


(ver'ti-go) (ver-ti'go) [L. vertigo, a turning round]
The sensation of moving around in space (subjective vertigo) or of having objects move about the person (objective vertigo). Vertigo is sometimes inaccurately used as a synonym for dizziness, lightheadedness, or giddiness. It may be caused by a variety of entities, including middle ear disease; toxic conditions such as those caused by salicylates, alcohol, or streptomycin; sunstroke; postural hypotension; or toxemia due to food poisoning or infectious diseases. See: vection (2)

Patient care

Assessment should include whether the patient experiences a sense of turning or whirling and its direction; whether it is intermittent and the time of day it occurs; whether it is associated with drugs, turning over in bed, occupation, or menses; whether it is associated with nausea and vomiting or with nystagmus and migraine. Safety measures, such as the use of siderails in bed, are instituted. The patient should ambulate gradually after a slow, assisted move from a sitting position. The call bell should be available at all times; tissues, water, and other supplies should be within easy reach; and furniture and other obstacles should be removed from the path of ambulation. The patient who has undergone ear surgery and experiences severe vertigo should be confined to bed for several days and then begin to gradually increase activity.

alternobaric vertigo

Vertigo associated with a sudden decrease in the pressure to which the inner ear is exposed. This could occur when a scuba diver ascends quickly or when an aircraft ascends quickly.
See: bends

auditory vertigo

Vertigo due to disease of the ear.

benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Abbreviation: BPPV
A disorder of the inner ear (labyrinth) characterized by intermittent attacks of vertigo triggered by positional changes of the head. Each episode of vertigo may last from less than a minute to a few minutes, with varying degrees of symptom severity. Episodes may recur for weeks intermittently over a period of years.


A sudden change in head position (such as turning over from one side to another in bed) brings on symptoms that may include dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness, imbalance, and nausea. Dropping the head back when lying down, rolling over in bed, and getting out of bed are common problematic motions. BPPV may be called “top shelf” vertigo because its sufferers often feel dizzy and unsteady when tipping their heads back to look up. Stationary beauty parlor hairdryers may bring on symptoms. Symptoms of vertigo are often accompanied by nystagmus.

Patient care

Motion sickness medications (e.g., the antihistamine meclizine) may be prescribed to control associated nausea. Several physical maneuvers (habituation or Brand-Daroff exercises) taught to the patient provide effective relief of symptoms.

Synonym: canalithiasis See: canalith repositioning maneuver

central vertigo

Vertigo caused by disease of the central nervous system.

cerebral vertigo

Vertigo due to brain disease.

epidemic vertigo

Vertigo that may occur in epidemic form. It is believed to be due to vestibular neuronitis.

epileptic vertigo

Vertigo accompanying or following an epileptic attack.

essential vertigo

Vertigo from an unknown cause.

gastric vertigo

Vertigo associated with a gastric disturbance.

horizontal vertigo

Vertigo that occurs while the patient is supine.

hysterical vertigo

Vertigo accompanying hysteria.

labyrinthine vertigo

An out-of-date term for Ménière's disease.

laryngeal vertigo

Fainting that occurs while coughing vigorously.

objective vertigo

Vertigo in which stationary objects appear to be moving.

ocular vertigo

Vertigo caused by disease of the eye.

organic vertigo

Vertigo due to a brain lesion.

peripheral vertigo

Vertigo due to disturbances in the peripheral areas of the central nervous system.

positional vertigo

Vertigo that occurs when the head is tilted toward a specific axis. Synonym: postural vertigo See: benign paroxysmal vertigo; Brandt-Daroff maneuvers; canalith repositioning maneuver

postural vertigo

Positional vertigo.

rotary vertigo

Subjective vertigo.

subjective vertigo

Vertigo in which the patient has the sensation of turning or rotating. Synonym: rotary vertigo

toxic vertigo

Vertigo caused by the presence of a toxin in the body.

vertical vertigo

Vertigo produced by standing or by looking up or down.

vestibular vertigo

Vertigo due to disease or malfunction of the vestibular apparatus.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners