Sacculocolic reflex in patients with dementia: is it possible to use it for early diagnosis?

Birdane L., Incesulu A., GÜRBÜZ M. K., Ozbabalik D.

Neurological sciences : official journal of the Italian Neurological Society and of the Italian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology, vol.33, no.1, pp.17-21, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible entity associated with behavioral changes, memory loss and disturbance of daily life activities. Current diagnostic tools can detect neuronal degeneration in AD only after irreversible damage that already existed. Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) test utilizes the sacculocolic reflex arc and has been used in neuro-otology practice for many years. In this study, we aim to determine if VEMP can be used for diagnostic purposes at the earliest stages of AD. Twenty patients with AD and ten patients with mild cognitive impairment were enrolled in this study. Control group was 30 healthy volunteers with no neurological or otological diseases. Abnormal VEMP responses were found in most of the patients at different stages of AD. VEMP test may be used for early diagnosis of AD. Also, it may provide a novel advancement in understanding of pathophysiology of this disease.