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Arch Neurol. 2004 Sep;61(9):1440-3.

Vestibular imbalance associated with a lesion in the nucleus prepositus hypoglossi area.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, Brain Research Institute, Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Sciences, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Shinchon-dong 134, Seodaemoon-ku, Seoul 120-752, Korea.



The nucleus prepositus hypoglossi (NPH) is known to be a neural integrator of horizontal eye movements. Although the role of the human NPH is not well known, it may also function in postural balance, in view of its anatomic connections with the vestibular nuclei and vestibulocerebellum and of lesion studies in experimental animals.


To show that the human NPH contributes to vestibular function in addition to eye movement control.


Case series.


University hospital. Patients Six patients with small and discrete brainstem infarctions that predominantly involved the NPH region.Main Outcome Measure Findings on magnetic resonance images.


The NPH was affected at the lower pontine level in 2 patients and at the upper medullary level in 4. In addition to gaze-evoked nystagmus, all patients had vertigo, vomiting, and postural ataxia, suggesting vestibular dysfunction. The patients typically fell contralaterally or bilaterally to the lesion side.


The NPH serves a vestibular function in addition to its oculomotor control function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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