Understanding motion-induced nausea

November 26, 2013

The Washington Post wants to know: Why don't we have more effective treatments for nausea? In a recent article, Kendall Powell checked in with Martinos Center researcher Vitaly Napadow and others to see how they were addressing this question. Napadow described work he is pursuing with neurogastroenterologist Braden Kuo investigating motion-induced nausea. By simulating a spinning room inside an MRI scanner, with a projection of rapidly moving vertical lines, Napadow and Kuo found that motion-induced nausea activates areas of the brain involved in pain and fear as well as in emotions and decision-making. The findings suggest that we might be able to control nausea using certain pain medications or antidepressants.

Napadow and Kuo and collagues described the study in a paper published in an April issue of Cerebral Cortex.