Professor Americo Migliaccio

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.

The mammalian efferent vestibular system plays a crucial role in the high-frequency response and short-term adaptation of the vestibuloocular reflex.

Hübner PP, Khan SI, Migliaccio AA

Although anatomically well described, the functional role of the mammalian efferent vestibular system (EVS) remains unclear. Unlike in fish and reptiles, the mammalian EVS does not seem to play a role in modulation of primary afferent activity in anticipation of active head movements. However, it could play a role in modulating long-term mechanisms requiring plasticity such as vestibular adaptation. We measured the efficacy of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) adaptation in α9-knockout mice. These mice carry a missense mutation of the gene encoding the α9 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit. The α9 nAChR subunit is expressed in the vestibular and auditory periphery, and its loss of function could compromise peripheral input from the predominantly cholinergic EVS. We measured the VOR gain (eye velocity/head velocity) in 26 α9-knockout mice and 27 cba129 control mice. Mice were randomly assigned to one of three groups: gain-increase adaptation (1.5×), gain-decrease adaptation (0.5×), or no adaptation (baseline, 1×). After adaptation training (horizontal rotations at 0.5 Hz with peak velocity 20°/s), we measured the sinusoidal (0.2-10 Hz, 20-100°/s) and transient (1,500-6,000°/s(2)) VOR in complete darkness. α9-Knockout mice had significantly lower baseline gains compared with control mice. This difference increased with stimulus frequency (∼ 5% <1 Hz to ∼ 25% >1 Hz). Moreover, vestibular adaptation (difference in VOR gain of gain-increase and gain-decrease adaptation groups as % of gain increase) was significantly reduced in α9-knockout mice (17%) compared with control mice (53%), a reduction of ∼ 70%. Our results show that the loss of α9 nAChRs moderately affects the VOR but severely affects VOR adaptation, suggesting that the EVS plays a crucial role in vestibular plasticity.

Isolated Vestibular Suppression Impairment With Vestibular Migraine: A Phenotypic CANVAS Variant.

Migliaccio AA, Watson SR

We propose that impaired VORS and VM are because of similar, but distinct, consequences of selective partial cerebellar dysfunction. The patient's VORS data are consistent with a CANVAS neuropathological study showing selective degeneration of the dorsal vermis of the cerebellum, a region thought to be important for VORS. Taken together our findings suggest the patient is a CANVAS variant. We hypothesise VORS impairment is part of CANVAS, but not revealed because of vestibular loss.

The effect of retinal image error update rate on human vestibulo-ocular reflex gain adaptation.

Fadaee SB, Migliaccio AA

The primary function of the angular vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is to stabilise images on the retina during head movements. Retinal image movement is the likely feedback signal that drives VOR modification/adaptation for different viewing contexts. However, it is not clear whether a retinal image position or velocity error is used primarily as the feedback signal. Recent studies examining this signal are limited because they used near viewing to modify the VOR. However, it is not known whether near viewing drives VOR adaptation or is a pre-programmed contextual cue that modifies the VOR. Our study is based on analysis of the VOR evoked by horizontal head impulses during an established adaptation task. Fourteen human subjects underwent incremental unilateral VOR adaptation training and were tested using the scleral search coil technique over three separate sessions. The update rate of the laser target position (source of the retinal image error signal) used to drive VOR adaptation was different for each session [50 (once every 20 ms), 20 and 15/35 Hz]. Our results show unilateral VOR adaptation occurred at 50 and 20 Hz for both the active (23.0 ± 9.6 and 11.9 ± 9.1 % increase on adapting side, respectively) and passive VOR (13.5 ± 14.9, 10.4 ± 12.2 %). At 15 Hz, unilateral adaptation no longer occurred in the subject group for both the active and passive VOR, whereas individually, 4/9 subjects tested at 15 Hz had significant adaptation. Our findings suggest that 1-2 retinal image position error signals every 100 ms (i.e. target position update rate 15-20 Hz) are sufficient to drive VOR adaptation.

Prevalence of Vestibular Disorder in Older People Who Experience Dizziness.

Chau AT, Menant JC, Hübner PP, Lord SR, Migliaccio AA

Dizziness and imbalance are clinically poorly defined terms, which affect ~30% of people over 65 years of age. In these people, it is often difficult to define the primary cause of dizziness, as it can stem from cardiovascular, vestibular, psychological, and neuromuscular causes. However, identification of the primary cause is vital in determining the most effective treatment strategy for a patient. Our aim is to accurately identify the prevalence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), peripheral, and central vestibular hypofunction in people aged over 50 years who had experienced dizziness within the past year. Seventy-six participants aged 51-92 (mean ± SD = 69 ± 9.5 years) were tested using the head thrust dynamic visual acuity (htDVA) test, dizziness handicap inventory (DHI), as well as sinusoidal and unidirectional rotational chair testing, in order to obtain data for htDVA score, DHI score, sinusoidal (whole-body, 0.1-2 Hz with peak velocity at 30°/s) vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain and phase, transient (whole-body, acceleration at 150°/s(2) to a constant velocity rotation of 50°/s) VOR gain and time constant (TC), optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) gain, and TC (whole-body, constant velocity rotation at 50°/s). We found that BPPV, peripheral and central vestibular hypofunction were present in 38 and 1% of participants, respectively, suggesting a likely vestibular cause of dizziness in these people. Of those with a likely vestibular cause, 63% had BPPV; a figure higher than previously reported in dizziness clinics of ~25%. Our results indicate that htDVA, sinusoidal (particularly 0.5-1 Hz), and transient VOR testing were the most effective at detecting people with BPPV or vestibular hypofunction, whereas DHI and OKN were effective at only detecting non-BPPV vestibular hypofunction.