Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Scientists restore hearing in noise-deafened mice

October 23, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Medical Xpress
October 20, 2014

Scientists have restored the hearing of mice partly deafened by noise, using advanced tools to boost the production of a key protein in their ears.

By demonstrating the importance of the protein, called NT3, in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, these new findings pave the way for research in humans that could improve treatment of hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal aging.

In a new paper in the online journal eLife, the team from the University of Michigan Medical School’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and Harvard University report the results of their work to understand NT3’s role in the inner ear, and the impact of increased NT3 production on hearing after a noise exposure.

Their work also illustrates the key role of cells that have traditionally been seen as the “supporting actors” of the ear-brain connection. Called supporting cells, they form a physical base for the hearing system’s “stars”: the hair cells in the ear that interact directly with the nerves that carry sound signals to the brain. This new research identifies the critical role of these supporting cells along with the NT3 molecules that they produce.

NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells and nerve cells, the researchers demonstrate. This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals that travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.

“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal aging,” says Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., who led the team and directs the U-M institute. “We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people. It’s very exciting.”

Read More . . .

Newcastle University study links childhood infections to hearing loss in later life

October 21, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

ChronicalLive.com, UK
Oct 20, 2014
By Helen Rae

Newcastle University research shows common childhood infections may lead to hearing loss later in life

Common childhood infections may lead to hearing loss in later life, a health study has revealed.

Ailments such as tonsillitis and ear infections can seriously damage a youngster’s hearing as they get older, Newcastle University research shows.

The findings are part of the ongoing 1947 Newcastle Thousand Families Study which monitored 1,142 Newcastle-born babies from 1947 to the present day, measuring their health, growth and development.

Now in their 60s a quarter of the “red spot” babies had their hearing tested and the results have been collated.

Dr Mark Pearce, who led the study at the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, said: “Our findings show that those who suffered from infections as a child were more likely to have a hearing loss in their 60’s. Reducing childhood infection rates may help prevent hearing loss later in life.

“This study shows the importance of the Newcastle birth cohorts, with the study initially focusing on childhood infections. The study is nearly 70 years old and continues to make a major contribution to understanding health conditions, which is only possible through the continued contribution of cohort members.”

The children, born in May and June 1947, are known as red spot babies because of the way doctors marked their medical files. They have provided invaluable information for studies over the years.

Read More  . . .

Vodafone Firsts helps deaf girl experience live music

October 16, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Vodafone Firsts, the programme that enables people to do remarkable things for the first time with the help of mobile technology, has helped a 19-year-old deaf Dutch girl experience a music concert for the first time.

Vera van Dijk, a 19-year-old Dutch girl who was born deaf and has never been to a concert, is preparing for one of the most exciting moments of her life following a cochlear implant that allows her to hear certain sounds.

Vera started to hear a small number of musical notes when she received the implant two years ago. Because she had limited awareness of the type of music she may like, she accessed social media channels on her smartphone to ask the Dutch public to help Kyteman choose the first song that she would be able to hear perfectly.

To ensure that the sounds are audible to Vera, her #FirstConcert is being composed from scratch using the limited combination of frequencies that the cochlear implant enables her to hear. It is being composed by Kyteman, one of the most popular progressive musicians in the Netherlands, who has worked with Sting and other leading artists.

Watch Video – See more at: http://www.entertainment-focus.com/technology-section/technology-news/vodafone-firsts-helps-deaf-girl-experience-live-music/#sthash.koePlM1o.dpuf

 

 

5 Bad Habits of Hearing Loss (People)

October 14, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

By 

Legend has it that from the time they first suspect a hearing problem, people typically wait 7 to 10 years before actually doing something about it. That’s a decade—a tenth of a century—of deteriorating communication. Seven to 10 years, wasted!

Research shows many reasons why people delay, including a belief their hearing is not all that bad and they can live with it, that it would cost too much to treat, hearing loss is low on their list of health priorities, or they simply don’t know where to get help. (AARP/American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA): National Poll on Hearing Health, 2011)

But unaddressed hearing loss has side effects. Years of poor communication take a toll on self-esteem, relationships, and overall health. It also gives a person time to develop bad habits. Sam Trychin, the renowned psychologist, public speaker and writer on hearing loss issues, wrote in his Mental Health Practitioner’s Guide (1987):  “The majority of people who are hard of hearing have had a gradual loss over a number of years. For them there may not have been a distinctly recognizable crisis period, but they have had a long time in which to develop and strengthen a variety of bad habits, such as bluffing, which can be highly resistant to change.”

So, what are some of these bad habits?

Read more . . .

 

Loudoun County Programs- NVRC’s Joan Cassidy

October 10, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, NVRC

 

NVRC website page

HEARING LOSS, TINNITUS AND MENIERE’S SYNDROME SUPPORT, 2 p.m. first Fridays, Senior Center at Cascades, 21060 Whitfield Pl., Sterling. For all ages, including parents of children with hearing loss. 703-430-2906.

NORTHERN VIRGINIA RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING, 18 and older, 10 a.m. second Tuesdays, Carver Center, 200 Willie Palmer Way, Purcellville. 571-258-3400.

HEARING LOSS OUTREACH, free information and referrals. Walk-ins, 10 a.m.-noon fourth Thursdays, Loudoun County Workforce Center, 102 Heritage Way, Leesburg; 10 a.m.-noon third Thursdays, Senior Center at Cascades, 21060 Whitfield Pl., Sterling. For free one-on-one appointments, call 703-430-2906 or e-mail nvrcloudoun@aol.com.

Washington Post  . . . .

Video on – Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss

October 7, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

Video: The Future of Hearing – Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities

On June 18th, we were pleased to present The Future of Hearing: Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities – an evening with honored guest Vint Cerf.

View video  . . .

 

Ecologist develops elephant-inspired hearing aid

October 6, 2014 in Research

 

 

WIRED.CO.UK / SCIENCE
06 OCTOBER 14
by JOSEPH BENNINGTON-CASTRO

American ecologist and hearing specialistCaitlin O’Connell-Rodwell is developing a new hearing aid inspired by elephants. Along with sound, elephants pick up ground-based vibrations, as the skin of their feet and trunks contains mechanoreceptors that can sense them.

“We [humans] have the same ability to detect vibrations, but people with normal hearing don’t focus on it,” says O’Connell-Rodwell.

She has partnered with HNU Photonics, a research company based on Maui, Hawaii, to develop a patch that adheres to the skin; this transduces sound into vibrations, which the brain interprets as a kind of Braille or Morse code. When participants touch the device, tiny electromagnets vibrate. Mechanoreceptors sense the vibrations, and send signals to the brain.

It turns out that the vibrotactile sense of the hearing-impaired is more pronounced than that of people with normal hearing, because their brains process the stimuli in the unused auditory cortex. “There’s a big population that is underserved… and could benefit from the same use of vibrations as elephants.”

 

Rebecca Alexander book “Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found”

October 3, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

October 19, 2014
2:00 PM
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike • Fairfax, VA 22031

Rebecca Alexander visits JCCNV on Sunday, October 19.  Thirty-five-year-old Rebecca Alexander is a psychotherapist, a spin instructor, a volunteer, and an athlete. She is also almost completely blind, with significantly deteriorated hearing. Her first book, Not Fade Awayis a deeply moving exploration of the obstacles we all face—physical, psychological, and philosophical.  Her brother, NBC reporter Peter Alexander, recently did a story about his sister on The Today Show.

http://www.today.com/health/peter-alexanders-sister-rebecca-wont-let-going-blind-deaf-hold-1D801466264

This event is in partnership with the JCCNV’s Special Needs Department and Special Needs Book Club.
Jessica Tischler will arrange for an ASL interpreter if there is a request.  Contact Jessica at Jessica.Tischler@jccnv.org

Books are now available for sale at the JCCNV front desk.
Not Fade Away: $27.00 + 1.62 (6% sales tax) = $28.62. Book signing following event.
Buy a book at the JCCNV by 4pm on October 15 and receive TWO complimentary admissions to the October 19 event with Rebecca.

Buy tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/profile/190347

Download Event Flyer

 

 

Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss | Sept. 2014 e-newsletter

October 2, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

The latest news on Stanford’s research to protect and restore hearing

stanfordHL

View original email in your browser

Leading the Way:

In Research to Cure Hearing Loss

The Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss (SICHL) labs are hard at work developing safe and effective ways to protect and restore hearing. Some of our labs are working on gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms of hearing, while others are working on regenerative therapies and making life saving drugs safer for the ear.

In addition to the ongoing research:

In June, Stanford hosted The Future of Hearing: Exploring the Challenges and Possibilitiesan informative evening with honored guest Vint Cerf.

The Stanford Ear Institute opened in July and provides expert care for people of all ages with diseases of the ear and related structures.

Below you will find links to: the numerous recently published papers from our labs and many other updates, events and news stories.

As always, please help us spread awareness of this exciting research at Stanford by sharing this newsletter with your friends and family.

Wishing You a Happy Fall
– The SICHL Team

 


The Stanford Ear Institute (SEI) opened in July to provide excellent care for patients of all ages with diseases of the inner ear and related structures.  Read more about the SEI here and here


Dr. Jackler and members of the SICHL team recently attended the AAO-HNS Annual Meeting, where they gave talks and participated in expert panel discussions. Read


Stanford hosted an informative evening, “The Future of Hearing” Exploring the Challenges and Possibilities,” with honored guest Vint Cerf and panelists. Watch video


SICHL was honored to attend the AG Bell Convention 2014 and present a poster outlining the research currently underway in our labs. View poster

IN THE NEWS:

New York Times: Building a Robot with Human Touch

John Markoff discusses Dr. Blevins’ collaboration with Stanford Roboticists and Software Developers to make it possible to rehearse delicate inner ear surgeries.

Dana Foundation: Closing the Gap Between Cochlear Implants and Natural Hearing

Carl Sherman discusses ways in which researchers, including Dr. Oghalai, are working to make the experience of hearing with a cochlear implant closer to that of natural hearing.

 

Recent Publications:

Cheng Lab:

Protein-Engineered Hydrogel Encapsulation for 3-D Culture of Murine Cochlea.

Blevins and Popelka Labs:

Comprehensive Measures of Sound Exposures in Cinemas Using Smart Phones.

Heller Lab:

Cisplatin exposure damages resident stem cells of the mammalian inner Ear

Inner ear hair cell-like cells from human embryonic stem cells.

Mustapha Lab:

A lack of immune system genes causes loss in high frequency hearing but does not disrupt cochlear synapse maturation in mice.

Oghalai Lab:

Vibration of the organ of Corti within the cochlear apex in mice.

Puria Lab:

The importance of the hook region of the cochlea for bone-conduction hearing

Development of a finite element model for normal and pathological middle ears: Impedance, reflectance, and sweep frequency impedance.

Ricci Lab:

Role of intracellular calcium stores in hair-cell ribbon synapse.

The how and why of identifying the hair cell mechano-electrical transduction channel.

 

Find More Online:

As always, you can find all our latest news on the SICHL blog, or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube – just click on the icons below.

We are also currently in the process of redesigning SICHL lab websites, which will have lots of in-depth information about the labs and research.  Click through to see the newly re-launched sites for:
Cheng Ear LabHeller Lab,

 

 

Hand gestures improve learning in both signers, speakers

October 2, 2014 in Research

 

 

Science Daily
Date: August 19, 2014
Source: University of Chicago

 

Summary:
Spontaneous gesture can help children learn, whether they use a spoken language or sign language, according to a new report. “Children who can hear use gesture along with speech to communicate as they acquire spoken language,” a researcher said. “Those gesture-plus-word combinations precede and predict the acquisition of word combinations that convey the same notions. The findings make it clear that children have an understanding of these notions before they are able to express them in speech.”

Using gestures helps children develop basic learning and cognitive skills, aiding them in problem-solving tasks.

Research shows – The ruffling effect of rumble

October 2, 2014 in Research

 

 

Science Daily
October 2, 2014
Source: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (LMU)

Summary:
Barely perceptible low-frequency signals nevertheless activate measurable responses in our auditory circuits. Neurobiologists have now characterized the remarkable impact of low-frequency sounds on the inner ear.

Sources of low-frequency signals are a prominent feature of technologically advanced societies like our own. Wind turbines, air-conditioning systems and heat pumps, for instance, can generate such sounds. Hearing thresholds in this region of the acoustic spectrum vary from one person to the next. “But the assumption that the ear is unresponsive to low-frequency sounds because these are seldom consciously perceived is actually quite false. The ear indeed reacts to very low-frequency signals,” says one investigator.

The most successful 3D printed product in the world: Part IV

September 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology

 

 

Inside 3DP
By Joris Peels
Sept.  25, 2014

We’re doing a series of stories on the biggest story you’ve never heard of, 3D printing hearing aids. Over 10,000,000 3D printed individualized pairs of hearing aids have been made. Today we explore why 3D printing works for this application.3Dprint

Why 3D printing?

So why would 3D Printing work for this application? Why in a few short years did 3D printing wipe out all the traditional manufacturing processes for hearing aids? There are a number of reasons for this. Also if we look at other products what key factors have to exist in order for a 3D printed mass consumer product to be viable?

1. First off 3D printing is efficient for making small things but not as good at making big things. Time in the machine and speed of the machine are critical cost factors. 3D Printing materials are expensive. The larger the object the more expensive it is to produce. Want a ring sized plastic thing? That will be a $1. Want a 3 person couch? That will be 50,000.

2. The individualization greatly affects the consumer. The more individualized and customized this product is, the happier the consumer. A hearing aid is meant to stay in your ear all day and if it is more comfortable you will be happier with it.

3. Customizability, is a clearly identifiable key quality the product has to be posses. This quality is well understood by both the consumer and the manufacturer. Because this is the case the manufacturer is willing to completely alter his production methods in order to please the customer.

4. The parts were functional. For the hearing aid application the parts were very small but also within spec for the hearing aid application. So the 3D printed parts were strong enough and lasted long enough.

Read more  . . . # 5. – 10.

 

 

Seahawk in Silence – Derrick Coleman

September 19, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

K5 Western Washington’s Home Team
September 11, 2014
Article Source

SEATTLE—The Seattle Seahawks play in arguably the loudest stadium in the world. Yet one Seahawk can’t hear the crowd.

Running back Derrick Coleman scored a key touchdown in the Seahawks’ season-opening win against the Packers. The fans went crazy. But Derrick only saw the cheers.

“I could feel it in my body, but my ears didn’t really catch it all. My body did though.”

He lost most of his hearing from a childhood disease at age 3.

“When people tell me I can’t do something, it just makes me want to do.”

He is one of the few hearing-impaired athletes to make it to the NFL. He may be the only one to make it on offense, where hearing can be critical as quarterback Russell Wilson often changes a play with his voice.

“So he knows straight up OK y’know look at me. Or you don’t have to look at me, just face me.”

Like he has most of his life, Derrick figures out a way to make it work. He wears hearing aids in both ears. But they don’t work well with the noise of the game. So he plays mostly in silence. He says that’s a good thing.

“My disability is actually an advantage over everybody else. Now they’re tryin’ to hear the play. They really gotta focus. All I gotta do is look at ‘em and talk.”

 

Going Blind and Deaf, One Woman Turns to Spinning

September 17, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

SHAPE – MIND AND BODY
Sep 15, 2014
By Locke Hughes

Faced with what Rebecca Alexander has gone through, most people couldn’t be blamed for giving up on exercise. At age 12, Alexander found out she was going blind due to a rare genetic disorder. Then, at 18, she suffered a fall from a second-story window, and her formerly athletic body was confined to a wheelchair for five months. Soon after that, she learned she was losing her hearing as well.

But Alexander hasn’t let these obstacles slow her down: At 35, she’s a psychotherapist with two masters degrees, a spin instructor, and an endurance racer living in New York City. In her new book, Not Fade Away: a Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, Rebecca writes about handling her disability with courage and positivity. Here, she tells us more about how fitness helps her cope with her day-to-day reality and the important lessons that anyone can take away from her experiences.

Read Interview by Shape

Women Who Eat Fish Twice Weekly Cut Their Risk Of Hearing Loss

September 17, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

Are you finding it tougher to follow conversations in a noisy restaurant? Or does it seem like people are mumbling when you speak with them?

These are two questions commonly used to screen for hearing loss, which affects more than one-third of people over age 65, according to the National Institutes of Health.

So, what to do to cut the risk?

Women who eat fish regularly have a lower risk of developing hearing loss compared to women who rarely or never eat fish, according to a study published Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women who ate two or more servings of fish per week had a 20 percent lower risk of hearing loss, according to Dr. Sharon Curhan, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and co-author of the study.

And though she and her colleagues had a hunch that certain types of fish may be more protective than others, it didn’t turn out that way. “Eating any type of fish — whether it’s tuna, dark fish [like salmon] or light fish was a associated with a lower risk,” Curhan told Shots.

Read More  . . .