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Diagnosis of falls, dizziness in children and elderly 

Diagnosis of falls, dizziness in children and elderly
Diagnosis of falls, dizziness in children and elderly

Béla Büki

and Alexander A. Tarnutzer

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date: 07 August 2020

Although the differential diagnosis of falls is broad, most falls are related to obvious causes (e.g. tripping over obstacles). Unexplained falls may occur due to vestibular (e.g. Menière’s disease (MD)), structural (obstructive hydrocephalus, Chiari malformation), vascular (vertebrobasilar transient ischaemic attack (TIA), subclavian steal syndrome) or psychiatric (psychogenic falls) causes, or because of impaired gait in neurodegenerative postural disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) or multiple system atrophy (MSA). This differential diagnosis is further elaborated in this chapter. Frequent causes of vertigo or dizziness in children and adolescents are migraine-related dizziness or vertigo (benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood (BPVC), vestibular migraine (VM)), followed by somatoform disorders and head trauma. Vertigo or dizziness is extremely common in elderly patients (prevalence rates as high as 33%) with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) being the single most common cause of recurrent vertigo.

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