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Am J Med Genet. 2001 May 15;100(4):287-91.

Familial benign recurrent vertigo.

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Department of Neurology, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1769, USA.


Benign recurrent vertigo (BRV) has been previously linked to migraine but there have been no prior studies of families with BRV. We studied the families of 24 patients who presented to our clinic with BRV and who reported a family history of similar attacks of vertigo. All probands underwent diagnostic evaluation to exclude identifiable causes of recurrent vertigo and they completed a standardized medical questionnaire pertaining to episodic vertigo and the features of migraine. This questionnaire was also sent to all relatives of the probands who agreed to participate. Of 220 relatives who returned questionnaires, 37% reported BRV and 50% met the diagnostic criteria for migraine. By contrast, only one of 43 (2%) unrelated spouses reported BRV and 10 of 43 (23%) met the diagnostic criteria for migraine. More than two-thirds of relatives with BRV met the diagnostic criteria for migraine and the majority reported that they had a typical migraine headache with at least some of their episodes of vertigo. Both BRV and migraine showed a female preponderance (more than 2 to 1). Familial BRV seems to be a migraine syndrome, probably inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion with decreased penetrance in men. In the search for the causative gene, vertigo may be a more useful marker than migraine because recurrent vertigo is relatively rare in the general population whereas migraine is very common.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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