Motion Sickness: Current Knowledge and Recent Advance

CNS Neurosci Ther. 2016 Jan;22(1):15-24. doi: 10.1111/cns.12468. Epub 2015 Oct 9.


Motion sickness (MS) is a common physiological response to real or virtual motion. Numerous studies have investigated the neurobiological mechanism and the control measures of MS. This review summarizes the current knowledge about pathogenesis and pathophysiology, prediction, evaluation, and countermeasures of MS. The sensory conflict hypothesis is the most widely accepted theory for MS. Both the hippocampus and vestibular cortex might play a role in forming internal model. The pathophysiology focuses on the visceral afference, thermoregulation and MS-related neuroendocrine. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in some genes and epigenetic modulation might contribute to MS susceptibility and habituation. Questionnaires, heart rate variability (HRV) and electrogastrogram (EGG) are useful for diagnosing and evaluating MS. We also list MS medications to guide clinical practice. Repeated real motion exposure and combined visual-vestibular interaction training accelerate the progress of habituation. Behavioral and dietary countermeasures, as well as physiotherapy, are also effective in alleviating MS symptoms.

Keywords: Countermeasure; Evaluation; Motion sickness; Pathogenesis; Prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Motion Sickness / diagnosis
  • Motion Sickness / genetics
  • Motion Sickness / physiopathology*
  • Motion Sickness / therapy*