The effect of age on the visuo- and vestibulo-ocular reflexes of elderly patients with vertigo

Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1991:481:399-402. doi: 10.3109/00016489109131431.


To evaluate the effect of age and vestibular deficit on the vestibulo-ocular and associated visual reflexes, rotating chair (VOR), eye tracking test (ETT) and optokinetic (OKN) responses were investigated using comparisons between three populations: young normals, vertiginous elderly patients, and age-matched normal elderly subjects. The gain of ETT and OKN responses were reduced for both elderly populations as compared to young normals, but less so for the vertiginous elderly. VOR gain was more significantly reduced in the vertiginous elderly, though VOR time constant was as reduced as for the normal elderly. These results indicate that visual inputs, even in the elderly, are probably employed to compensate for a vestibular deficit.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Nystagmus, Physiologic / physiology
  • Pursuit, Smooth / physiology
  • Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology*
  • Rotation
  • Vertigo / physiopathology*