The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Assessing Cognitive Effort in Ménière’s Disease: Pupillometry as a Novel Tool for Postural Control


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy


Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

J Int Adv Otol 2024; 20: 69-75
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2024.231150
Read: 71 Downloads: 35 Published: 01 February 2024

BACKGROUND: This study aimed to investigate the utility of pupillometry as a measure of cognitive effort in individuals with Ménière’s disease experiencing chronic postural destabilization. By integrating pupillometry with static posturography, we sought to gain deeper insights into the cognitive demands and arousal levels associated with postural control in this specific patient population.

METHODS: The study included 36 patients who met the diagnostic criteria for Ménière’s disease and a control group comprising 36 healthy volunteers. We performed static posturography using a computerized static posturography platform to objectively assess postural imbalance. Additionally, pupillometry was recorded using infrared video-oculoscopy. Pupil dilation was measured before and after participants walked for 7 steps on-site with their vision obscured.

RESULTS: Baseline tonic pupil size showed no significant difference between healthy controls and Ménière’s patients. However, after walking stimulation, Ménière’s patients exhibited highly significant abnormal walking-induced pupil dilation. This suggests increased arousal in response to the challenging task of walking with closed eyes, linked to static upright stance imbalance as correlated with posturography parameters.

CONCLUSION: Pupillometry holds promise as an objective tool to assess cognitive effort and arousal during postural control in Ménière’s disease. Implementing pupillometry in clinical practice could enhance the management of postural instability in these patients. Our findings contribute to the understanding of cognitive aspects in balance control and open new avenues for further investigations in vestibular dysfunction.

Cite this article as: Francavilla B, Velletrani G, Chiaramonte C, Di Girolamo S, Giacomini PG. Assessing cognitive effort in Ménière’s disease: Pupillometry as a novel tool for postural control. J Int Adv Otol. 2024;20(1):69-75.

EISSN 2148-3817