Special Topic Issue: ORL 2015, Vol. 77, No. 4 Bilateral vestibular loss often goes unrecognized by doctors and, as a result, many patients consult a variety of specialists before finally getting the correct diagnosis. This special topic issue provides new insights into this disorder and includes encouraging data on the development of a vestibular prosthesis. The publication starts with a discussion of the difficulties patients face until a total vestibular deficit is identified. The focus then turns to the development of a balance-restoring implant which is a neuro-prosthesis conceptually similar to a cochlear implant. Two of the three worldwide teams involved in developing this therapy provide exclusive updates on research in animal models and the first applications in humans. So far, demonstrations have shown that at least partial restoration of vestibular function is possible. Because of the myriad possible symptoms and the difficulties in diagnosis, patients may consult general practitioners, internists, neurologists, ophthalmologists, and/or otorhinolaryngologists. This publication is meant to enhance the awareness of those professionals and bring them up to date on the latest research and results.
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