Professor Americo Migliaccio

TEAM LEADER PROFILE

Professor, NeuRA Adjunct Prof, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Conjoint Assoc Prof, Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW

+612 9399 1030


Professor Americo Migliaccio heads a research group that investigates the neural mechanisms underlying the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR). He is particularly focused on determining the neural mechanisms important for recovery after partial injury of the vestibular organ/s. He is also developing a new rehabilitation technique and device to modify VOR function.

Projects Professor Americo Migliaccio is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Can high dose of vitamin C boost recovery after balance organ injury?

We will address loss of balance, a pressing health-related issue that affects quality of life in ~5% of the population. Once the balance organ is injured or degrades with age, no treatments restore function. We have identified a nerve-pathway crucial for balance system adjustment & self-repair. The sensitivity of this pathway can be increased with vitamin C. We will determine if vitamin C treatment can improve recovery after balance loss and potentially translate to the clinic.

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Can high dose of vitamin C boost recovery after balance organ injury?

A new mouse model that determines the effects of a unilateral vestibular prosthesis on vestibular pl

Much like a cochlear implant restores auditory function, a vestibular prosthesis restores balance function. It is not clear whether the limited results from vestibular prostheses is due the device not stimulating one component (the otoliths) of the vestibular system essential for self-repair.

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A new mouse model that determines the effects of a unilateral vestibular prosthesis on vestibular plasticity.

The effect of enhanced vestibular efferent transmission on plasticity of the mammalian vestibulo-ocu

We have identified a nerve-pathway crucial for balance adjustment and self-repair. We will test a mouse type that has this pathway genetically made more sensitive to determine whether stimulation of this pathway is a viable approach to improving recovery after balance loss in humans.

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The effect of enhanced vestibular efferent transmission on plasticity of the mammalian vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR)

Treating dizziness in older people

Despite effective treatments being available, up to 40% of older people with reported dizziness remain undiagnosed and untreated. A multidisciplinary assessment battery, with new validated assessments of vestibular impairments is required for diagnosing and treating older people with dizziness. This project will therefore aim to conduct a randomised-control trial of a multifaceted dizziness intervention based on a multidisciplinary assessment, and develop a multiple profile assessment of dizziness for use in Specialist Clinics.

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Treating dizziness in older people

Development of a take-home rehabilitation device that improves vision and balance in patients with i

This project will develop a rehabilitation device based on a training technique we invented, which has been shown to significantly normalise the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) response in patients with vestibular organ lesions.

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Development of a take-home rehabilitation device that improves vision and balance in patients with injury to the balance organs

RESEARCH TEAM

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MICHAEL SCHUBERT Honorary Senior Research Fellow

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR PHILLIP CREMER Honorary Senior Research Fellow

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR ALAN BRICHTA Honorary Senior Research Fellow

DR REBECCA LIM Honorary Research Fellow

Chris Todd

CHRISTOPHER TODD Research Assistant

WILLIAM FIGTREE Research Assistant

Tanvir Ahmed

TANVIR AHMED PhD student

David Grenet

DAVID GRENET PhD student

PUBLICATIONS

Reducing the burden of dizziness in middle-aged and older people: A multifactorial, tailored, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Menant JC, Migliaccio AA, Sturnieks DL, Hicks C, Lo J, Ratanapongleka M, Turner J, Delbaere K, Titov N, Meinrath D, McVeigh C, Close JCT, Lord SR

A multifactorial tailored approach for treating dizziness was effective in reducing dizziness handicap in community-living people aged 50 years and older. No difference was seen on the other primary outcomes. Our findings therefore support the implementation of individualized, multifaceted evidence-based therapies to reduce self-perceived disability associated with dizziness in middle-aged and older people.

Reducing the burden of dizziness in middle-aged and older people: A multifactorial, tailored, single-blind randomized controlled trial.

Menant JC, Migliaccio AA, Sturnieks DL, Hicks C, Lo J, Ratanapongleka M, Turner J, Delbaere K, Titov N, Meinrath D, McVeigh C, Close JCT, Lord SR

A multifactorial tailored approach for treating dizziness was effective in reducing dizziness handicap in community-living people aged 50 years and older. No difference was seen on the other primary outcomes. Our findings therefore support the implementation of individualized, multifaceted evidence-based therapies to reduce self-perceived disability associated with dizziness in middle-aged and older people.

Pilot study of a new rehabilitation tool: improved unilateral short-term adaptation of the human angular vestibulo-ocular reflex.

Migliaccio AA, Schubert MC

A visual stimulus driving the VOR gain to unity toward the nonadapting side aids unilateral adaptation more so than no visual stimulus.

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