When a person suffers from dizziness, which is associated with the central nervous system, it is known as central vertigo. It has been found that people who suffer from this type of dizziness invariably have lesion on the 8th cranial nerve. The dizziness can be caused due to hemorrhagic stroke or an ischemic stroke originating in the cerebellum, the brainstem or in the vestibular nucleus. However, this type of dizziness can also occur due to tumors in the central nervous system, infection in the system, trauma to the central nervous system or multiple sclerosis.
It has been seen that many people suffer from dizziness and vertigo due to the presence of acoustic neuroma, which usually occurs on the 8th cranial nerve. However, the neuroma can extend to the posterior fossa of the brain and have effect on the brainstem as well as other cranial nerves.
There are several causes for dizziness associated with the central nervous system. For instance, it can occur when the cerebellar arteries infract in the brainstem. It can also occur due to severe hemorrhage, acoustic neuroma or edema. The dizziness can also occur as a result of transient ischemic attack, severe cerebellar disease, infarction in the caudal cerebellum, cerebro-vascular disease, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and Meniere disease.
Usually, the symptoms of a problem with the central nervous system vary from person to person. Not all people will complain of dizziness. Some may also complain of equilibrium problems or maintaining an erect posture. So, when a person approaches a doctor with complaints of dizziness, the doctor will first record the symptoms, how long the dizziness occurs, when it first started, and the entire medical history of the person.
Usually when the dizziness is associated with a problem related to the central nervous system, the neurologic symptoms tend to sent in gradually and are not that severe. People with elevated blood pressure, history of cerebrovascular disease, atrial fibrillation complaints and advancing age are more at risk. After a full physical examination, the doctor will ask for several tests. Based on the results, the diagnosis is made and the treatment is started.
When it comes to dizziness, especially if the person is suffering from heart-related problems and elevated blood pressure, it should not be ignored. The person should seek immediate medical attention, as this dizziness could be a sign that there is some problem within the central nervous system.
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Medscape: Central Vertigo