Accession Number:

AD0728314

Title:

Alcohol and Disorientation-Related Responses. I. Nystagmus and 'Vertigo' during Caloric and Optokinetic Stimulation,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST OKLAHOMA CITY OKLA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1971-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

32.0

Abstract:

Although the sensory systems vestibular and visual most involved in disorientation and pilots vertigo would appear to be affected by the ingestion of alcohol, the locus and nature of the effect are not established. For example, there are apparently conflicting data concerning the effects of alcohol on vestibular responses to caloric irrigations. While some authors report that alcohol enhances vestibular responses, others indicate response suppression. This study was designed to investigate the effects of two levels of alcohol on the vertigo and nystagmic responses resulting from caloric irrigations and visual conditions and the alertness of the subjects carefully controlled. Additional information concerning the effects of alcohol on optokinetic nystagmus was also obtained. The data clearly indicate that alcohol suppresses the nystagmic response to calorizations in total darkness. However, under conditions where visual fixation is permitted and where visual fixation would normally inhibit caloric vestibular responses, the ingestion of alcohol results in a high-frequency, low-amplitude nystagmus. This response, however, is not due to increased vestibular sensitivity, but rather to the suppression, by alcohol directly or indirectly, of the visual fixation system. This visual inhibition was also evident in the suppression of the optokinetic response by alcohol. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE