Recording bone conduction oVEMPs.
Vertigo and imbalance are common reasons that Australian patients seek medical care. Simple non-invasive tests are useful in investigating vertigo and imbalance, and tests of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) are the most sought-after measures of vestibular (balance) function. One of our newest tests, the oVEMP (ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potential), is a reliable measure of one vestibular organ in particular (the utricle). It also gives novel information about the type and timing of signals sent from the ear to individual eye muscles and can tell us about the central brainstem pathways of the VOR in humans. Only the earliest part of the oVEMP reflex has been investigated thus far. In contrast, the later components of the reflex are expected to contain new information about VOR pathways through the brainstem and diagnostic information about diseases that affect vestibular pathways. During my PhD, I will investigate the late components of the oVEMP reflex in patients with disorders that affect the VOR. The research will provide exciting new knowledge about vestibular and oculomotor physiology and produce new clinical applications for oVEMPs.