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Research Scholarship - 2021

Differentiating vestibular neuritis from stroke in the emergency department
Dr. Chao Wang

Project Description

Sudden attacks of severe vertigo lasting one or more days are a common presentation to our Emergency Departments. These attacks of vertigo can be caused by vestibular neuritis, a harmless viral illness responding to steroid treatment and balance rehabilitation, or stroke, which can be life-threatening, requiring urgent medical treatments. There is a need for reliable, noninvasive tests that separate these two conditions which have different treatments and outcomes.

Dr Wang's project will address this need. First, it will record video clips of the abnormal eye movements (nystagmus) seen in vestibular neuritis and stroke to compare their direction and speed. It will then perform a test for each of the five inner ear balance organs and hearing tests to build portraits of vestibular neuritis and stroke that will help identify them. Finally, Dr Wang will work with engineering colleagues to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the gathered data to separate these two conditions accurately.

This work will help emergency doctors, ear nose and throat specialists and neurologists to confidently identify stroke and neuritis and deliver early and effective treatment to both groups.

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