Background/Aims: Recent evidence has shown that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients have
reduced vestibular function relative to healthy controls. In this study, we evaluated whether patients with
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) also have reduced vestibular function relative to controls, and compared
the level of vestibular impairment between MCI and AD patients.
Methods: Vestibular physiologic function was assessed in 77 patients (26 MCI, 51 AD) and 295
matched controls using 3 clinical vestibular tests. The association between vestibular loss and cognitive
impairment was evaluated using conditional logistic regression models.
Results: Individuals with vestibular impairment had a 3 to 4-fold increased odds of being in the MCI vs.
control group (p-values < 0.05). MCI patients had a level of vestibular impairment that was intermediate
between controls and AD.
Conclusion: These findings suggest a dose-response relationship between vestibular loss and cognitive
status, and support the hypothesis that vestibular loss contributes to cognitive decline.