Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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VBI Overview

Another name for VBI is Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency.

What is vertebrobasilar insufficiency?
A person with vertebrobasilar insufficiency has recurrent transient ischemic attacks (TIA), or mini-strokes, which cause the structures in the back of the brain to malfunction for less than 24 hours. The vertebrobasilar circulation supplies blood to structures in the back of the brain, including the medulla, pons, cerebellum, midbrain, thalamus, and occipital cortex. The most common cause of vertebrobasilar insufficiency is atherosclerosis. Vertebrobasilar insufficiency is most common in those over the age of 70.

What are the symptoms of vertebrobasilar insufficiency?
Common symptoms of vertebrobasilar insufficiency include visual changes, double vision, slurred speech, vertigo, difficulty with balance, and numbness and tingling. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light. Symptoms can be confused with basilar migraine.

How does the doctor treat vertebrobasilar insufficiency?
Treatment for vertebrobasilar insufficiency includes the avoidance of trigger factors such as dehydration and certain positional changes. Additional treatment for vertebrobasilar insufficiency may include blood thinner medications.

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