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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) as a treatment for chronic dizziness following mild traumatic brain injury


A 61-year-old man sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) following a pedestrian versus vehicle traffic accident. Post injury, he began to experience symptoms including light-headedness, spatial disorientation, nausea, fatigue and prominent dizziness brought on by postural change, physical activity or eye movements. Symptoms of dizziness persisted for over 5 years, despite numerous extensive and rigorous vestibular and vision therapy regimens. All investigations suggested normal peripheral and central vestibular functioning. The patient underwent 10 sessions of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment, with stimulation of the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex at 70% of resting motor threshold and a frequency of 10 Hz. Dizziness symptom severity and frequency were reduced by greater than 50% at 3 months post treatment, with a clinically significant reduction of dizziness disability from 40 to 21 points on the Dizziness Handicap Inventory. We propose rTMS as a safe, effective and cost-effective treatment option for patients who experience persistent post-traumatic dizziness secondary to mTBI.

  • neurological injury
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology

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