Sexual dimorphism in vestibular function and dysfunction

Paul F. Smith, Yuri Agrawa, Cynthia L. Darlington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It has been recognized for some time that females appear to be overrepresented in the incidence of many vestibular disorders, and recent epidemiological studies further support this idea. While it is possible that this is due to a reporting bias, another possibility is that there are actual differences in the incidence of vestibular dysfunction between males and females. If this is true, it could be due to a sexual dimorphism in vestibular function and therefore dysfunction, possibly related to the hormonal differences between females and males, although the higher incidence of vestibular dysfunction in females appears to last long after menopause. Many other neurochemical differences exist between males and females, however, that could be implicated in sexual dimorphism. This review critically explores the possibility of sexual dimorphism in vestibular function and dysfunction, and the implications it may have for the treatment of vestibular disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2379-2391
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Estrogen
  • Gender differences
  • Sex differences
  • Vestibular system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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