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      Vestibular Perceptual Thresholds Increase above the Age of 40


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          We measured vestibular perceptual thresholds in 105 healthy humans (54F/51M) ranging from 18 to 80 years of age. Direction-recognition thresholds were measured using standard methods. The motion consisted of single cycles of sinusoidal acceleration at 0.2 Hz for roll tilt and 1.0 Hz for yaw rotation about an earth-vertical axis, inter-aural earth-horizontal translation ( y-translation), inferior–superior earth-vertical translation ( z-translation), and roll tilt. A large subset of this population (99 of 105) also performed a modified Romberg test of standing balance. Despite the relatively large population (54F/51M), we found no difference between thresholds of male and female subjects. After pooling across sex, we found that thresholds increased above the age of 40 for all five motion directions investigated. The data were best modeled by a two-segment age model that yielded a constant baseline below an age cutoff of about 40 and a threshold increase above the age cutoff. For all subjects who passed all conditions of the balance test, the baseline thresholds were 0.97°/s for yaw rotation, 0.66°/s for 1-Hz roll tilt, 0.35°/s for 0.2-Hz roll tilt, 0.58 cm/s for y-translation, and 1.24 cm/s for z-translation. As a percentage of the baseline, the fitted slopes (indicating the threshold increase each decade above the age cutoff) were 83% for z-translation, 56% for 1-Hz roll tilt, 46% for y-translation, 32% for 0.2-Hz roll tilt, and 15% for yaw rotation. Even taking age and other factors into consideration, we found a significant correlation of balance test failures with increasing roll-tilt thresholds.

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          The role of oxidative stress in noise-induced hearing loss.

          Modern research has provided new insights into the biological mechanisms of noise-induced hearing loss, and with these new insights comes hope for possible prevention or treatment. Underlying the classic set of cochlear pathologies that occur as a result of noise exposure are increased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a significant role in noise-induced hair cell death. Both necrotic and apoptotic cell death have been identified in the cochlea. Included in the current review is a brief review of ROS, along with a description of sources of cochlear ROS generation and how ROS can damage cochlear tissue. The pathways of necrotic and apoptotic cell death are also reviewed. Interventions are discussed that target the prevention of noise-induced hair cell death: the use of antioxidants to scavenge and eliminate the damaging ROS, pharmacological interventions to limit the damage resulting from ROS, and new techniques aimed at interrupting the apoptotic biochemical cascade that results in the death of irreplaceable hair cells.
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            Mortality and cause of death in hip fracture patients aged 65 or older - a population-based study

            Background The high mortality of hip fracture patients is well documented, but sex- and cause-specific mortality after hip fracture has not been extensively studied. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate mortality and cause of death in patients after hip fracture surgery and to compare their mortality and cause of death to those in the general population. Methods Records of 428 consecutive hip fracture patients were collected on a population-basis and data on the general population comprising all Finns 65 years of age or older were collected on a cohort-basis. Cause of death was classified as follows: malignant neoplasms, dementia, circulatory disease, respiratory disease, digestive system disease, and other. Results Mean follow-up was 3.7 years (range 0-9 years). Overall 1-year postoperative mortality was 27.3% and mortality after hip fracture at the end of the follow-up was 79.0%. During the follow-up, age-adjusted mortality after hip fracture surgery was higher in men than in women with hazard ratio (HR) 1.55 and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.21-2.00. Among hip surgery patients, the most common causes of death were circulatory diseases, followed by dementia and Alzheimer's disease. After hip fracture, men were more likely than women to die from respiratory disease, malignant neoplasm, and circulatory disease. During the follow-up, all-cause age- and sex-standardized mortality after hip fracture was 3-fold higher than that of the general population and included every cause-of-death category. Conclusion During the study period, the risk of mortality in hip fracture patients was 3-fold higher than that in the general population and included every major cause of death.
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              Adaptive procedures in psychophysical research.

              R Leek (2001)
              As research on sensation and perception has grown more sophisticated during the last century, new adaptive methodologies have been developed to increase efficiency and reliability of measurement. An experimental procedure is said to be adaptive if the physical characteristics of the stimuli on each trial are determined by the stimuli and responses that occurred in the previous trial or sequence of trials. In this paper, the general development of adaptive procedures is described, and three commonly used methods are reviewed. Typically, a threshold value is measured using these methods, and, in some cases, other characteristics of the psychometric function underlying perceptual performance, such as slope, may be developed. Results of simulations and experiments with human subjects are reviewed to evaluate the utility of these adaptive procedures and the special circumstances under which one might be superior to another.

                Author and article information

                Front Neurol
                Front Neurol
                Front. Neurol.
                Frontiers in Neurology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                03 October 2016
                : 7
                : 162
                [1] 1Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA, USA
                [2] 2Jenks Vestibular Physiology Laboratory, MEEI , Boston, MA, USA
                [3] 3University of Colorado at Boulder , Boulder, CO, USA
                [4] 4Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital , Boston, MA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Yuri Agrawal, Johns Hopkins University, USA

                Reviewed by: Paul MacNeilage, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany; Benjamin Thomas Crane, University of Rochester, USA

                *Correspondence: Daniel M. Merfeld, dan_merfeld@ 123456meei.harvard.edu

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Neuro-otology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Neurology

                Copyright © 2016 Bermúdez Rey, Clark, Wang, Leeder, Bian and Merfeld.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 24 May 2016
                : 14 September 2016
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 9, Equations: 1, References: 74, Pages: 17, Words: 12912
                Funded by: Foundation for the National Institutes of Health 10.13039/100000009
                Award ID: R01-DC01458, R01-DC014924
                Original Research

                vestibular, perception, thresholds, aging


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