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Zwergal, Andreas; Brandt, Thomas; Magnusson, Mans; Kennard, Christopher (2016): DIZZYNET - a European network initiative for vertigo and balance research: visions and aims. In: Journal of Neurology, Vol. 263: S2-S9
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Abstract

Vertigo is one of the most common complaints in medicine. Despite its high prevalence, patients with vertigo often receive either inappropriate or inadequate treatment. The most important reasons for this deplorable situation are insufficient interdisciplinary cooperation, nonexistent standards in diagnostics and therapy, the relatively rare translations of basic science findings to clinical applications, and the scarcity of prospective controlled multicenter clinical trials. To overcome these problems, the German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders (DSGZ) started an initiative to establish a European Network for Vertigo and Balance Research called DIZZYNET. The central aim is to create a platform for collaboration and exchange among scientists, physicians, technicians, and physiotherapists in the fields of basic and translational research, clinical management, clinical trials, rehabilitation, and epidemiology. The network will also promote public awareness and help establish educational standards in the field. The DIZZYNET has the following objectives as regards structure and content: to focus on multidisciplinary translational research in vertigo and balance disorders, to develop interdisciplinary longitudinal and transversal networks for patient care by standardizing and personalizing the management of patients, to increase methodological competence by implementing common standards of practice and quality management, to internationalize the infrastructure for prospective multicenter clinical trials, to increase recruitment capacity for clinical trials, to create a common data base for patients with vertigo and balance disorders, to offer and promote attractive educational and career paths in a network of cooperating institutions. In the long term, the DIZZYNET should serve as an internationally visible network for interdisciplinary and multiprofessional research on vertigo and balance disorders. It ideally should equally attract the afflicted patients and those managing their disorders. DIZZYNET will not compete with the traditional national or international societies active in the field, but will function as an additional structure that addresses some of the above problems.