Background: Promethazine is used to treat motion sickness including Space Adaptation Syndrome, but there is incomplete information about how it affects vestibular and optokinetic responses. Methods: Vestibular and optokinetic nystagmus, recorded with eye coils, were characterized in monkeys after administration of promethazine at dosages approximately equivalent to those used by humans in space. Results: The initial increase of horizontal eye velocity during optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) was reduced after receiving the drug. Consequently, it took a longer time for eye velocity to rise to 60% of steady state value, the normal initial jump in eye velocity. Steady state OKN, maximum gains of optokinetic after-nystagmus (OKAN) and OKAN falling time constants were unaffected. The gains and time constants of the horizontal, vertical and roll angular vestibulo-ocular reflex (aVOR), the amplitude and velocity of saccades, and ocular counter-rolling (OCR), induced by off-vertical axis rotation (OVAR) were unaffected by promethazine. A two-component optokinetic model simulated the data simply by reducing the gain of the initial (rapid) component of OKN. A reduction in coupling between a non-linear element and the velocity storage integrator was required to simulate some vertical OKN data. Conclusions: Promethazine reduces the gain of the direct visual-oculomotor pathway in monkeys. It has little effect on saccades, the gain and time constant of the aVOR and the low frequency linear vestibulo-ocular reflex (IVOR), which orients the eyes during ocular counterrolling. The optokinetic deficit is consistent with reported reduction in ocular pursuit and VOR suppression after promethazine in humans.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine|
|State||Published - 2000|