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J Korean Bal Soc > Volume 5(1); 2006 > Article
Journal of the Korean Balance Society 2006;5(1): 139-148.
Mechanisms of Vestibular Compensation: an Overview
Carey D. Balaban, Ph
Departments of Otolaryngology, Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
Mechanisms of Vestibular Compensation: an Overview
Carey D. Balaban, Ph
Departments of Otolaryngology, Neurobiology, Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh
ABSTRACT
Unilateral or bilateral damage to the vestibular periphery is followed by compensatory plasticity in multiple vestibuloocular, vestibulo-spinal, vestibulo-collic and vestibulo-autonomic responses. These compensatory effects are produced by cascades of molecular events in single cells, which are made within the context of that neuron in functional networks that produce behavioral compensation. Hence, the identification of molecular bases for a particular compensatory response (e.g., disappearance of spontaneous nystagmus in the light, the disappearance of static head tilt or modification of orthostatic responses) requires careful attention to the time course of behavioral compensation and the location of the effects within neural networks that normally modulate and coordinate the responses. The effects of impeding these site-specific and time-specific changes can then be tested to determine their role in the compensatory process. A consideration of the recent literature on molecular events related to the resolution of pontaneous nystagmus in the light illustrates the importance of viewing transcriptional, translational and post-translational events on the turnover of critical signaling substrates within a teleological context for vestibular compensation.
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