This leading research into the treatment and prevention of motion sickness and the clinical symptoms of vestibular disorders has improved diagnosis and patient outcomes.

Motion blur of a roller coaster


Motion sickness can occur in almost anyone, with about 10 per cent of the population highly susceptible. In extreme motion environments, such as agile military aircraft, motion sickness can affect even the normally insusceptible person. The symptoms of vestibular disease (problems with the inner ear) are very similar. Increasing with age, it is experienced by about 10-20 per cent of the population at some point in their lives.

It is important to identify those most susceptible, so they can receive suitable treatments, or in extreme cases, be advised against taking up certain professions. University of Westminster’s John Golding developed the Motion Sickness Susceptibility Questionnaire (MSSQ) after finding those that existed were deficient in many ways. Its success as a predictor of motion sickness was validated by using both laboratory motion simulators and actual exposure in parabolic Zero-G flights.

Golding’s research assessed the various existing treatments for motion sickness for their efficiency. It established the best choice of particular anti-motion sickness drugs for specific situations. The research was initially conducted with the Royal Navy and RAF and more recently in collaboration with various European universities, the European Space Agency, the US Military, and with the Medical School at Imperial College where Golding is Visiting Professor.

Desensitization training was improved for patients with vertigo and related disorders, based on the results from motion sickness experiments. Progressive and mild exposure to physical and visual stimuli, together with breathing exercises, was found to offer an efficient route to desensitization. This research was accomplished in collaboration with Imperial College.

Golding’s impact has been widespread, influencing guidelines and training methods, with practitioners and professionals using his research findings in conducting their own work, and has improved patient outcomes. In partnership with Imperial College, Golding’s research is now focused on Meniere’s disease and the current inefficient treatments that can lead to inner ear damage.


I have been out on our lifeboat this morning, and on an exercise that would normally leave me feeling at the very least nauseous, instead of getting to stage 3 or stage 4 (extremely motion sick), I barely got to stage 2. Thank you for your help.

Robert – Lifeboat-man, given desensitization training by John Golding

Supported by: MOD, Wellcome Trust, European Space Agency, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Medical Research Council, United States Navy, United States Army