The impact of a vestibular dysfunction on cognitive and motor performance in adults in single and dual-task condition
Aside from typical symptoms such as postural imbalance, vertigo, dizziness, nausea, and problems with gaze stabilization, patients with vestibular disorders (VD) often suffer from cognitive impairment (memory loss, loss of concentration, inability to multitask, fatigue, and headaches). On the one hand, these cognitive symptoms may be directly related to altered (e.g. hippocampal) vestibular projections throughout the brain, which are also involved in cognitive functions. On the other hand, these symptoms may be indirectly explained by difficulties in performing a motor and cognitive task simultaneously (dual-tasking), expressed by impaired cognitive-motor interference. The aim of the current study is to elucidate the impact of VD on cognitive and motor function, assessed in single and dual-task (DT) condition. Therefore, a test battery was developed and constructed based on a systematic review on psychometric properties of DTs in a variety of populations. The test protocol comprises five different cognitive tests, all assessing a different cognitive domain, which will be performed separately (single task) as well as during motor tasks (DT). This test protocol will be standardized in healthy controls, and subsequently validated in patients with bilateral vestibulopathy. The standardized and validated test protocol will then be performed in persons with unilateral vestibular loss. Finally, possible correlations between functional data and neuroimaging will be explored.