D Monzani

Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico Modena, Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

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Publications (42)71.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Migraine (MG) and Ménière’s disease (MD) are idiopathic pathologies, but share several clinical, epidemiological, and genetic characteristics. Based on some considerations with regard to the pathophysiology and epidemiology of both MG and MD, the authors hypothesize that MG and MD could be interpreted as different neurovascular regional manifestations of the same pathology. An interpretation of MG and MD as the same phenomenon involving different brain regions could inspire and stimulate researchers studying aspects linking what has already been discovered in both fields, e.g. pathogenetic mechanisms or therapeutic development.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a sporadic disorder in the vast majority of cases, although a familial, benign, recurrent form, in which the disease segregates in an autosomal dominant fashion has been described. After the evidence for a role of a novel murine gene, Otop1, in knock-out tlt (tilted) and mlh (Mergulhador) mice, lacking the perception of gravity and linear motion and showing a vestibular disorder due to non-syndromic agenesis of both utricular and saccular otoconia, we aimed at verifying the role of the human analogue of the Otop1 gene in BPPV pathogenesis in familial cases of BPPV, collected in our tertiary university referral centre. Methods: Starting in 2007, families with at least two living members thought to have BPPV were considered for inclusion in the present study. The cases were both retrospectively and prospectively identified over the following two years. Results: Seven familial aggregations of BPPV were identified and Otop1 mutation screening showed the presence of a heterozygous mutation in one family, c.1013G> C p.Arg338Pro, which was considered possibly deleterious using the prediction software. It was absent in 100 control alleles, but was also found in two as yet unaffected relatives. Conclusions: The results of a mutation screening of the Otop1 gene in familial cases of BPPV do not support a major role of the gene in the pathogenesis of the disease.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: As L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) control Ca(2+) influx and depolarisation of cardiac and vascular smooth muscle, they represent a specific therapeutic target for calcium channel blockers (CCBs), which are approved and widely used to treat hypertension, myocardial ischaemia and arrhythmias. L-type currents also play a role in calcium entry in the sensory cells of the inner ear. In hair cells of both cochlea and labyrinth, calcium cytoplasmic influx is the first physiological process that activates complex intracellular enzymatic reactions resulting in neurotransmitter release. Excessive calcium ion entry into sensory cells, as a consequence of L-VGCCs malfunction is responsible for over-activation of phospholipase A2 and C, protein kinase II and C, nitric oxide synthase and both endonucleases and depolymerases, which can cause membrane damage and cellular death if the cytoplasmic buffering capacity is overcome. Nimodipine, a highly lipophilic 1-4 dihydropyridine that easily crosses the brain-blood barrier, is generally used to reduce the severity of neurological deficits resulting from vasospasm in patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage. Moreover, due to its selective blocking activity on L-channel calcium currents, nimodipine is also suggested to be an effective countermeasure for cochlear and vestibular dysfunctions known as channelopathies. Indeed, experimental data in amphibians and mammalians indicate that nimodipine has a stronger efficacy than other CCBs (aminopyridine, nifedipine) on voltage-dependent wholecell currents within hair cells at rest and it is the only agent that is also effective during their mechanically induced depolarisation. In humans, the efficacy of nimodipine is documented in the medical management of peripheral vestibular vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus, even in a pathology as complex as Ménière's disease. Nimodipine is also considered useful in the prophylaxis of damage to the facial and cochlear nerves caused by ablative surgery of cerebellopontine tumours; it has been recently hypothesised to accelerate functional recovery of recurrent nerve lesions during thyroid cancer surgery. Further trials with adequate study design are needed to test the efficacy of nimodipine in the treatment of vertigo due to cerebrovascular disease and vestibular migraine.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, an increasing number of articles have appeared on central auditory processing disorders, but in the literature there is only one study that evaluated the possible correlation between migraine in the critical phase and central auditory processing. The aim of our study was to assess the correlation between auditory processing information and childhood primary headaches in the intercritical phase. This is an observational study. We enrolled 54 patients, 30 with primary headache (migraine and tension headache) and 24 normal controls, matched for sex and age. The mean age at first observation was 9 years 10 months; the duration of observational follow-up was 2 years. Both groups had normal audiological and neurological profiles, normal peripheral hearing acuity and normal cognitive and behavioral skills. We excluded patients who had undergone pharmacological prophylactic treatment for headaches in the 6 months preceding the study and subjects with a frequency of headache lower than one every two months. After enrolment, both groups were analyzed with a computerized test battery for Speech Perception Tests in silence and in noise background to assess speech perception disabilities. In addition, with a test battery of Speech Perception Tests, we compared patients with migraines and tension-type headaches. The non-parametric chi2 test, the Mann--Whitney U-test and the Wilcoxon signed ranks test were used for statistical analysis. P-values <0.05 were considered significant and STATA 10 software was used for statistical analyses. Our results showed that patients with primary headache (migraine and tension-type headache), had a deficit of auditory processing in noisy background compared to control cases, but we found no significant differences when we compared patients with migraine and tension-type headache. This is a work in progress and further studies are needed to assess the relationship between the impairment of auditory processing and primary headache, not only to improve the diagnostic approach to primary headache, but also to improve therapeutic intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · The Journal of Headache and Pain
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Comorbidity between vestibular and psychiatric disorders in predisposed individuals is underestimated, untreated, and may result in chronicization and poor quality of life. There are few studies concerning the type and the prevalence of psychiatric-psychosomatic distress in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate psychiatric-psychosomatic comorbidities, in particular anxiety, depression, somatization symptoms, and alexithymia, in a group of BPPV patients compared with healthy subjects, and according to gender. METHODS: Case-control study comparing 92 BPPV patients recruited at the ENT Unit of Modena General Hospital between November 2007 and December 2010, and 141 healthy controls. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were used to perform psychometric assessment. RESULTS: BPPV patients scored higher than controls, with statistical significance, at BDI, BSI somatization, anxiety, and phobic anxiety subscales, and STAI state anxiety; a larger proportion of BPPV patients suffered from clinically significant BDI depressive symptomatology; DCPR disease phobia, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, and demoralization were more common among BPPV subjects. High levels of symptomatology were still found among BPPV female patients, but not among males, even after controlling for symptom severity. CONCLUSIONS: Affective symptomatology, such as depression, demoralization, phobia and anxiety, and somatization, were significantly prevalent in BPPV patients, and female gender may be a predisposing factor.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Psychosomatics
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Several modalities currently exist to rate the degree of facial function clinically but even though it has significant limitations, the most widely used scale is the House-Brackmann grading system (HBGS). A simplified scale is introduced here, the 'Rough' Grading System (RGS - Grade I: normal movement; Grade II: slight paralysis; Grade III: frank paralysis with eye closure; Grade IV: frank paralysis without eye closure; Grade V: almost complete paralysis with only slight movements; Grade VI: total paralysis). The aim of the present study was to verify the interrater reliability and the interscale validity of this simplified grading system. STUDY DESIGN: Scale validation study based on a prospective cohort. METHODS: Fifty patients with facial palsy, consecutively referred to our department were filmed while performing some codified facial movements. Then two independent groups (one rating using the HBGS, the other rating using the RGS) assigned a grade after reviewing the videos. The time required for the rating was also noted. RESULTS: The HBGS showed a mean value of interrater agreement of 0.46 while the RGS showed a mean value of 0.59. The concurrent validity between HBGS and RGS ranged from 0.86 to 0.90 (p < 0.001 for every comparison). There was no statistically significant difference between HBGS and RGS in the mean time taken for rating (p = 0.15). CONCLUSIONS: The RGS reached an adequate level of interrater reliability, higher than the HBGS. The correlation between the two scales is high and the times required for rating are similar. The present results may justify the use of the RGS in routine clinical practice. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: N/A.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of cranio-maxillo-facial surgery: official publication of the European Association for Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery
  • S. Baraldi · E. Simoni · G. Prati · L. Pingani · D. Monzani · S. Ferrari
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    ABSTRACT: Vestibular disorders can trigger the onset of psychiatric disorders in predisposed individuals: these comorbidities are often underestimated, untreated and may consequently result in chronicization and poor quality of life. There are still few studies concerning the type and the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).AimTo evaluate psychiatric comorbidities, in particular anxiety, depression, somatisation disorder and alexithymia in a group of BPPV, patients compared to healthy subjects.Methods Case-control study. We compared for psychiatric morbidity 92 BPPV patients and 141 controls (not suffering from BPPV) recruited at the ENT Unit of Modena General Hospital between November 2007 and December 2010. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were used to assess psychiatric symptoms.ResultsBDI and STAI scores, BSI subscales for somatization, anxiety and phobic anxiety, DPCR subscales for disease phobia, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder and demoralization were significantly different between patients and controls. Conversely, significant differences between the two groups were not found for alexithymia scores.Conclusions Affective disorders, such as depression, demoralization, phobia and anxiety, and somatisation appeared to be significantly prevalent in BPPV patients. Contrary to expectations, alexithymia was not found to be more common in these subjects. Further studies are needed, in order to identify psychiatric sufferings at early stages in this population.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · European Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Despite an abundance of long-term pharmacological treatments for recurrent vertigo attacks due to Ménière's disease, there is no general agreement on the their efficacy. We present the results of a retrospective study based on a 10-year experience with two long-term medical protocols prescribed to patients affected by Ménière's disease (diagnosed according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium guidelines) who completed treatments in the period 1999-2009. A total of 113 medical records were analysed; 53 patients received betahistine-dihydrochloride at on-label dosage (32 mg die) for six months, and 60 patients were treated with the same regimen and nimodipine (40 mg die) as an add-therapy during the same period. Nimodipine, a 1,4-dihydropyridine that selectively blocks L-type voltage-sensitive calcium channels, has previously been tested as a monotherapy for recurrent vertigo of labyrinthine origin in a multinational, double-blind study with positive results. A moderate reduction of the impact of vertigo on quality of life (as assessed by the Dizziness Handicap Inventory) was obtained in patients after therapy with betahistine (p < 0.05), but a more significant effect was achieved in patients treated by combined therapy (p < 0.005). In the latter group, better control of vertigo was seen with a greater reduction of frequency of attacks (p < 0.005). Both protocols resulted in a significant improvement of static postural control, although a larger effect on body sway area in all tests was obtained by the fixed combination of drugs. In contrast, no beneficial effect on either tinnitus annoyance (as assessed by the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory) and hearing loss (pure-tone average at 0.5, 1, 2, 3 kHz frequencies of the affected ear) was recorded in patients treated with betahistine as monotherapy (p > 0.05), whereas the fixed combination of betahistine and nimodipine was associated with a significant reduction of tinnitus annoyance and improvement of hearing loss (p < 0.005). It was concluded that nimodipine represents not only a valid add-therapy for Ménière's disease, and that it may also exert a specific effect on inner ear disorders. Further studies to investigate this possibility are needed.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale
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    ABSTRACT: Reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) along the sensory nerves innervating the ear, including the geniculate ganglion, is responsible for herpes zoster oticus (HZO). In some cases, HZO is associated with polyneuropathy of the cranial nerves, although the mechanism of this involvement is not known. To explain this phenomenon and based on some clinical considerations, the present authors hypothesize an intersynaptic spread of VZV along the reflex pathways of the brainstem. (c) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and the Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Neuroscience Research
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    ABSTRACT: At the present time, the function of the mastoid remains unknown. One of the main hypotheses accredited in the literature interprets the mastoid as a pressure buffer. Other theories underline the role of the mastoid mucosa in pressure regulation by transmucosal gas exchanges. The question is what advantage does air reabsorption and the creation of a certain degree of negative pressure that mastoid seems to produce, bring to the middle ear and hearing? In the authors' opinion, it is possible that the mastoid, or, in general, every kind of mucosa contained in the middle ear of mammals, would act to create a quite constant, although slight, negative pressure to obtain favorable compliance and impedance conditions in the middle ear to hear and transmit high frequency sounds and ultrasounds. The Eustachian tube, in this perspective, would compensate excessive values of negative pressure. Clearly, that function of mastoid pneumatization in humans would have lost its role, due to the absence of a sensorineural system to analyse ultrasounds.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Medical Hypotheses
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    ABSTRACT: Munchausen's syndrome (MS) is a form of severe, chronic, factitious disorder with physical symptoms. Some essential features define MS, such as recurrent, feigned, or simulated illness; peregrination (traveling or wandering); pseudologia fantastica; and drug abuse. Munchausen's syndrome by proxy (MSBP) classically involves a parent or other caregiver who inflicts injury or induces illness in a child. The aim of the present study was to summarize and study the main ear, nose, and throat (ENT) manifestations of MS and MSBP. A systematic literature review carried out in a tertiary university referral center. An appropriate string was run on PubMed to retrieve articles dealing with ENT manifestations of MS and MSBP. A double cross-check was performed on citations and full-text articles found using selected inclusion and exclusion criteria. In total, 24 articles were finally included in the study, describing 30 cases of MS or MSBP involving the ENT region; 15/30 (50%) cases involved the face, most often presenting as facial pain or facial swelling; and 7/30 (23.3%) cases presented with symptoms involving the ear. Six cases out of 30 (20%) were MSBP. MS and MSBP may present with symptoms involving the head and neck area, particularly the face and external ear canal. The ENT specialist should suspect MS in patients with strange and long-lasting symptoms, so as to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatments that waste time and money in the healthcare sector.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012 · The Laryngoscope

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Otology & neurotology: official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology
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    ABSTRACT: Until recently, tympanic facial nerve surgery had been performed using microscopic approaches, but in recent years, exclusive endoscopic approaches to the middle ear have increasingly been used, particularly in cholesteatoma surgery. The aim of this report was to illustrate the surgical anatomy of the facial nerve during an exclusive endoscopic transcanal approach. Retrospective video review of cadaveric dissections and operations on living patients in a tertiary university referral center. Between November 2008 and July 2010, a total of 12 endoscopic cadaveric dissections were performed by an exclusive endoscopic transcanal approach. All dissections were recorded and stored in a database. In July 2010, video recordings from those dissections were reviewed, and the anatomic variations and accessibility of the tympanic facial nerve were studied and noted. Two further video recordings from living patients affected by middle ear chronic disease were also included in our study. In all 14 subjects, the transcanal endoscopic approach guaranteed direct access to the entire tympanic segment of the facial nerve after ossicular chain removal, allowing decompression of the nerve from the geniculate ganglion and the greater petrosal nerve to the second genu of the facial nerve. As in microscopic techniques, the cochleariform process and transverse crest (cog) may represent useful landmarks. The tympanic facial nerve can be thoroughly visualized by an exclusive endoscopic transcanal approach, even in poorly accessible regions such as the second genu and geniculate ganglion. Further clinically based reports may strengthen our preliminary results.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · The Laryngoscope
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    ABSTRACT: The indications for tympanoplasty are mainly chronic ear pathologies, such as cholesteatoma, atelectasis and chronic tympanosclerotic otitis. Usually, modification of the mastoid and temporal tissues in general mostly involves bone work, which means bone removal by burs or appropriate bone curettes. It is for this reason that, in both the pre- and postoperative periods, the computed tomography (CT) scan is the primary radiological tool for studying the middle-ear, and temporal bone structures and pathologies. The aim of this review is to illustrate the most up-to-date postoperative results for tympanoplasty, including the emerging endoscopic techniques. The present work focuses on the five types of tympanoplasty that are likely to be encountered by the radiologist: radical surgery; open tympanoplasty; closed tympanoplasty; closed endoscopic tympanoplasty; and open endoscopic tympanoplasty. Understanding and interpreting temporal bone images in relation to the different types of surgery are important, especially at the postoperative stage, because of the high risk of recurrence of middle-ear pathologies, and a good working knowledge of surgical changes is fundamental for distinguishing iatrogenic bone demolition from complications and new pathological foci.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Journal of Neuroradiology
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study is to document and analyze the ossicular chain preservation rate in patients affected by acquired primary cholesteatoma with epitympanic involvement and with preoperative intact ossicular chain. A retrospective case series in a tertiary university referral center. From January 2006 to February 2010, at the Otolaryngology Department of the University Hospital of Modena, 68 patients affected by acquired primary cholesteatoma with attic involvement underwent exclusive endoscopic transcanal tympanoplasty. In April 2010, we performed a retrospective chart and video review of these patients. Patients in whom the ossicular chain was found to be intact and not involved by the pathology at the beginning of the operation were included in the study. A cholesteatoma staging was introduced based on tympanic subsite involvement by pathology. Out of 68 patients affected by acquired primary cholesteatoma and who underwent exclusive endoscopic transcanal tympanoplasty, 23 had intraoperative integrity of the ossicular chain (17 male and 6 female subjects; mean age, 40 yr) and were included in the study. An inverse correlation was found between number of subsites involved and chain preservation (Spearman rank correlation coefficient, r = -1; p = 0.017). Medial attic involvement was the factor that most negatively influenced the likelihood of chain preservation. Middle ear endoscopic techniques may increase the likelihood of ossicular chain preservation during cholesteatoma surgery. Medial attic involvement and a high number of subsites involved represent the most significant negative factors for chain preservation. The rate of residual disease requires more thorough evaluation in the future to validate the results.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Otology & neurotology: official publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology
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    ABSTRACT: This study explores how preschoolers with cochlear implants process numerical comparisons from two different inputs: a) nonverbal (analogical) and b) verbal (symbolic). Preschool cochlear-implanted children (CI) ranging in age from 4;3 to 6;1 were compared with 99 age-matched hearing children (HC) in three numerical tasks: verbal counting, a digit comparison and a dot comparison. Results show that CI children may outperform HC in numerical tasks that require visuo-spatial analysis (e.g. analogical comparison). More importantly, they perform as well as HC in numerical tasks that require symbolic processes (digit comparison) and in verbal counting. However, when the influence of children's verbal counting skills on digit comparison is examined differences between the two groups emerge. HC's capacity to compare digits was influenced by their knowledge of the verbal counting system, but this knowledge was not influential when CI children's performance in the same task was considered. These findings suggest that different strategies may characterize the way the two groups tackle symbolic numerical comparisons. The educational and instructional implications of these findings are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Deafness & Education International
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to illustrate our experience with horizontal glottectomy (HG), reviewing the indications and results of this uncommon partial laryngectomy. It is a retrospective study. We completed a chart review of patients who underwent partial laryngectomy between May 2003 and June 2010. Patients who underwent HG were included in the study. Data obtained were collected and analyzed. Seven male patients were included in the study (mean age was 78 years; range, 69-88 years). In all cases, the TNM classification was pT1bN0M0 apart from one patient who had pT1N1M0. Three patients had a moderately differentiated neoplasm (G2), whereas 4 patients had a well-differentiated tumor (G1). Tracheotomy tube removal, oral feeding, and voice analysis have been evaluated and reported in the study. Mean follow-up was 16 months. Horizontal glottectomy might be a worthwhile treatment option in selected patients nowadays. In older patients with anterior commissure involvement, this procedure guarantees adequate functional and good oncological results. This study may possibly help surgeons dealing with glottic cancer involving the anterior commissure because we believe that some patients could benefit from HG, even in this radiotherapy and transoral laser surgery "era."
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · American journal of otolaryngology

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · European Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of vestibular rehabilitation in a cohort of elderly labyrinthine-defective patients also affected by a moderate cognitive impairment of vascular origin. A secondary aim was to establish whether additional treatment with a cholinergic precursor (choline alphascerate) might enhance the results of the physical therapy in these patients. A retrospective clinical design was employed and data were collected from the vestibular rehabilitation treatment charts of 42 selected elderly patients who attended the tertiary referral centre of the Audiology and Vestibology of the University Hospital of Modena, Italy, in the period 1998-2008. Two groups of patients, well-matched for sex, age, and as close as possible for the vestibular examination upon admittance, were selected; Group A included 20 patients who had undergone vestibular rehabilitation training for one month and Group B included 22 patients who had attended the same physical therapy sessions as the former and had also received daily medication with 1200 mg of choline alphascerate per os. The outcome measures of the two forms of treatments were obtained from comparisons between posturographic and electronystagmographic examinations at baseline and 3 weeks after the end of treatment. Instrumental findings were completed by recording scores of the Dynamic Gait Index, the Dizziness Handicap Inventory and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale before and after treatment. A statistically significant improvement in postural control (p < 0.05) and gait and balance performances (p < 0.005) was recorded in both groups; a relevant and statistically significant reduction of the asymmetry of the vestibular-ocular reflexes was also observed (p < 0.005). The self-rated dizziness handicap and psychological distress were significantly reduced (p < 0.005). Comparisons between the two groups revealed that patients who had also received medication, had achieved significantly better results than the other patients with respect to postural control in response to optokinetic stimulations (p < 0.05) and to Dynamic Gait Index (p < 0.05), thus suggesting, a reinforcement of cholinergic stimulation on vestibular compensation when tested in clinical conditions that require complex perceptual-motor skills and make a significant demand upon cognitive spatial processing resources. Further applications of stimulation of the cholinergic neurotransmission are discussed with particular regard to vestibular compensation in patients with no cognitive impairment or recurrent vertigo attacks of labyrinthine origin.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Acta otorhinolaryngologica Italica: organo ufficiale della Società italiana di otorinolaringologia e chirurgia cervico-facciale

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Jan 2009

Publication Stats

346 Citations
71.67 Total Impact Points


  • 2015
    • Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Policlinico Modena
      Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2002-2013
    • Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia
      • Department of Biomedical, Metabolical and Neurosciences
      Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2012
    • The Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
      Evans Head, New South Wales, Australia
    • University of Naples Federico II
      Napoli, Campania, Italy
  • 2007
    • University of Ferrara
      • Department of Audiology
      Ferrare, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • 2006
    • Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale Modena
      Modène, Emilia-Romagna, Italy