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J Vestib Res. 2007;17(2-3):89-92.

Presbyvertigo-aging of otoconia and vestibular sensory cells.

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  • 1Department for Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany.


Imbalance is a common clinical problem in elderly persons. Subsequently falls and fractures may occur. Age-related balance problems constitute an underestimated but prominent public health problem and a socioeconomic burden. At the histological level the peripheral vestibular system in animals and humans exhibits a variety of age-related changes. The number of otoconia in the utricule and the saccule is reduced with increasing age. Degenerated otoconia caused by aging showed distinct changes of the shape. Moreover age-related decreasing hair cell counts, lipofuscin inclusions and deformation of cilia are observed in human vestibular sensory and supporting cells. Results of vestibular function testing of age-related balance disorders still remain controversially. Regular balance training and vestibular rehabilitation results in less more falls and imbalance.

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