Research - Archive

CGF166 Gene Therapy Study for Severe Hearing Loss

December 12, 2014 in Research

 

Pioneers Recruitment Registry

Study objective: The goal of this study is to assess the safety and tolerability of an inner ear infusion of CGF166, a gene therapy. Another goal is to assess the effectiveness of CGF166 by measuring changes in hearing before and after treatment. Some of the possible benefits that researchers believe CGF166 may provide include improved hearing that may be revealed as improved speech recognition, and the ability to benefit from a hearing aid and avoid the need for a cochlear implant.

Am I eligible? Participants should be 21 to 70 years of age with severe hearing loss in both ears. You will be unable to participate if your hearing loss was caused by genetic/developmental disorders, surgery, or trauma. Also, participants will be excluded if they have cochlear implants, Meniere’s disease, or immunodeficiency diseases.

Read More  . . .

More about Pioneers Recruitment Registry
University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC)

Related News Article:

Denver man gets gene therapy to restore hearing
by Jessica Oh, KUSA

http://www.9news.com/story/news/health/2014/11/29/hearing-loss-gene-therapy/19669727/

Hearing aids may improve balance

December 12, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Medical Press
by Julia Evangelou Strait
December 12, 2014

Enhancing hearing appears to improve balance in older adults with hearing loss, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Patients with hearing aids in both ears performed better on standard balance tests when their hearing aids were turned on compared with when they were off.

The small study, which appears in the journal The Laryngoscope, involved only 14 people ages 65 to 91 but is the first to demonstrate that sound information, separate from the balance system of the inner ear, contributes to maintaining the body’s stability. The study lends support to the idea that improving hearing through hearing aids or cochlear implants may help reduce the risk of falls in older people.

“We don’t think it’s just that wearing hearing aids makes the person more alert,” said senior author Timothy E. Hullar, MD, professor of otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. “The participants appeared to be using the sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance. It’s a bit like using your eyes to tell where you are in space. If we turn out the lights, people sway a little bit—more than they would if they could see. This study suggests that opening your ears also gives you information about balance.”

Read More . . .

 

Cochlear implantation in patients with Meniere’s disease study results

December 11, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology

 

Maney Online
Maney Publishing’s Online Platform

Few studies have addressed the benefits of cochlear implantation for the small group of patients with bilateral, end-stage Meniere’s disease, or unilateral disease with contralateral hearing loss from another cause. Our retrospective study evaluates the effectiveness and post-operative performance in these Meniere’s disease patients and discusses these findings relative to other post-lingually deafened adults.

Read Method, Results, & Conclusion of Study

Hearing Resource Center Launched by AARP

December 11, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Website Provides Tools and Tips for Living Well with Hearing Impairment

CONTACT:
Mark Bagley, 202-434-2504 or mbagley@aarp.org; @AARPMedia

WASHINGTON, DC — To address the needs of the 70 percent of Americans age 50+ who suffer from some level of hearing loss, AARP has launched the AARP Hearing Resource Center.  The platform, online at www.aarp.org/hearing, connects AARP members and other consumers interested in hearing health with helpful tips, information, tools and links to related product solutions and programs.  A Spanish language version of the site is also available.

“Hearing loss results from many causes, and up to 70 percent of those who have hearing loss do not seek treatment,” said Stephanie Miles, Vice President of Member Value, Products and Platforms at AARP.  “Our research shows that hearing loss can impact the income of a working individual and, in certain cases, affects other aspects of health and can even be tied to depression.  The Hearing Resource Center will provide  information, tools and more.”

The Hearing Resource Center includes:

  • Educational content about hearing-related topics, including common causes of hearing loss,  information on maintaining hearing health, tips and solutions for living with hearing loss and for loved ones of the hearing-impaired;
  • Assessment tools for evaluating hearing loss;
  • Maintenance and care tips for hearing-related equipment, such as hearing aids.
  • Links to hearing-related products and programs, including AARP Driver Safety’s “Honk if You Hear Me” program, the AARP Foundation’s Isolation program, and hearing aid discounts.

The site will be updated on a continuous basis with new data, resources such as informational videos and webinars featuring audiologists and other experts, and topical articles. For example, a current feature, “Hearing Well for the Holidays” discusses how to enjoy the best of holiday time with family and friends.

# # #

About AARP:

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.

 

Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss With A Supplement?

December 11, 2014 in Community News, Research

 

Researchers Found A Chemical That Protects Cochlear Nerves And Supports Mito Health

The Inquisitr News.
December 9, 2014

Researchers believe they found a supplement that can prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is considered a vitamin B3, and scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes say that this compound can protect the nerve that feed the cochlea, which transmits sound information through those nerves to the spiral ganglion, which sends the information on to the brain. With exposure to loud noises, the synapses that connect the nerves to cells in the cochlea get damaged. This results in noise-induced hearing loss, according to Science Daily.

The researchers tested supplementing mice with NR before and after being exposed to loud noises. As hoped, NR was able to prevent damage to the nerves from loud sounds, a press released explained. As a result of the supplementation protecting the nerves, the researchers were able to avoid short term hearing loss and long term hearing loss. Interestingly, the supplementation was successful at preventing the hearing loss whether it was given before or after exposure to the loud noises.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1666268/prevent-noise-induced-hearing-loss-with-a-supplement-researcher-found-a-chemical-that-protects-cochlear-nerves-and-supports-mito-health/#xJyMHg58Chd2M23K.99

 

Vitamin Supplement Successfully Prevents Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research

 

 

Weill Cornell Newsroom
Press Release

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO—December 2, 2014—Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

Published today in Cell Metabolism, the researchers used the chemical nicotinamide riboside (NR) to protect the nerves that innervate the cochlea. The cochlea transmits sound information through these nerves to the spiral ganglion, which then passes along those messages to the brain. Exposure to loud noises damages the synapses connecting the nerves and the hair cells in the cochlea, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss.

The researchers set about trying to prevent this nerve damage by giving mice NR before or after exposing them to loud noises. NR was successful at preventing damage to the synaptic connections, avoiding both short-term and long-term hearing loss. What’s more, NR was equally effective regardless of whether it was given before or after the noise exposure.

“One of the major limitations in managing disorders of the inner ear, including hearing loss, is there are a very limited number of treatments options. This discovery identifies a unique pathway and a potential drug therapy to treat noise-induced hearing loss,” says Dr. Kevin Brown, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and first author on the paper. Dr. Brown conducted the research while at Weill Cornell.

Read entire press release  . . .

 

Research Aims to Help Veterans with Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research, Technology

 

 

Science Blog
December 1, 2014

Many combat veterans suffer hearing loss from blast waves that makes it difficult to understand speech in noisy environments – a condition called auditory dysfunction – which may lead to isolation and depression. There is no known treatment.

Building on promising brain-training research at the University of California, Riverside related to improving vision, researchers at UC Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a novel approach to treat auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds.

The team is seeking public support to raise the estimated $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they believe will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.

“This is exploratory research, which is extremely hard to fund,” said Aaron Seitz, UCR professor of neuropsychology. “Most grants fund basic science research. We are creating a brain-training game based on our best understanding of auditory dysfunction. There’s enough research out there to tell us that this is a solvable problem. These disabled veterans are a patient population that has no other resource.”

Seitz said the research team is committed to the project regardless of funding, but donations will accelerate development of the brain-training game by UCR graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and neuroscience; pilot studies on UCR students with normal hearing; testing the game with veterans; and refining the game to the point that it can be released for public use.

Auditory dysfunction is progressive, said Alison Smith, a graduate student in neuroscience studying hearing loss in combat vets who is a disabled veteran. Nearly 8 percent of combat veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from traumatic brain injury, she said. Of those, a significant number complain about difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, even though they show no external hearing loss.

“Approximately 10 percent of the civilian population is at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, and there have been more than 20,000 significant cases of hearing loss per year since 2004,” added Smith, who served in the Army National Guard as a combat medic for five years.

Read more . . . 

 

Drug to restore hearing loss being developed

October 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Zeenews India.com
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Original Article

New York: Boosting the production of a key protein, called NT3, could help restore hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal ageing, a research found.

The protein plays an important role in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, the findings showed, offering scientists a target to develop drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.

“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,” said lead researcher Gabriel Corfas from the University of Michigan in the US.

NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells in the ear and nerve cells that carry signal to the brain, the researchers demonstrated.

This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals, which 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 ageing,” Corfas added.

Using a special genetic technique, the researchers made it possible for some mice to produce additional NT3 in cells of specific areas of the inner ear after they were exposed to noise loud enough to reduce hearing.

Mice with extra NT3 regained their ability to hear much better than the control mice.

The researchers will now explore the role of NT3 in human ears, and seek drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.

The findings appeared online in the journal eLife.

 

 

 

Screening questions fail to identify teens at risk for hearing loss

October 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Penn State – News
By Jennifer Abbasi
October 23, 2014

HERSHEY, Pa. — Subjective screening questions do not reliably identify teenagers who are at risk for hearing loss, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The results suggest that objective hearing tests should be refined for this age group to replace screening questions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Bright Futures children’s health organization, sets standards for pediatric preventive care. The AAP recommends screening adolescents with subjective questions and then following up with objective hearing tests for those found to be at high risk of hearing loss. However, the screening questions were not specifically developed for children or adolescents. Studies also show that adolescents are poor self-reporters of hearing status.

“We found that you can’t rely on the Bright Futures questions to select out teenagers at high risk for hearing loss who would warrant an objective screen,” said Deepa Sekhar, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics.

A study in 2010 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that one in five adolescents aged 12 to 19 has hearing loss. Most have high-frequency hearing loss, which may be related to increasing hazardous noise exposures from such things as personal listening devices, concert-going, ATV-riding and hunting with firearms.

For the study, eleventh grade students at Hershey High School — located in the college’s community — answered the 10 Bright Futures hearing screening questions and additional questions assessing other potential risk factors for adolescent hearing loss. They also took the Pennsylvania state-mandated hearing test — the familiar hearing screening where children raise their hand when they hear a tone — and a hearing test developed by the researchers to better detect high-frequency noise-related hearing loss. Some of the children underwent additional standard hearing testing in a soundproof booth. The researchers report their results in the Journal of Medical Screening.

Read Entire Article . . .

 

Sleep Apnea Tied to Hearing Loss

October 27, 2014 in Research

 

 

Guardian Liberty Voice
by Janette Verdnik
October 26, 2014.

According to the recent study, sleep apnea does not only affect the quality of sleep, it may also cause the hearing loss. The research linked sleep apnea with hearing loss at both low and high frequencies. After the researchers adjusted the data for other possible causes of hearing impairment, the findings of the study held true.

The study’s findings give further support to the idea that sleep apnea usually does not occur in isolation. However, according to the researchers, it could be a sign of other underlying health conditions. Dr. Neomi Shah, one of the study’s authors, said that sleep apnea is more of a chronic and systematic disease and it is not just something that happens when you are sleeping. Dr. Shah is an associate director of the pulmonary sleep lab at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and according to her, sleep apnea probably affects multiple different organs. She is urging that people start considering this sleeping disorder as a chronic disease with inflammatory and vascular issues.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea, which is a common disorder, affects about 18 million Americans. Person, who is suffering from it, shows typical signs. He or she develops periodic gasping when snoring or makes some particular snorting noises. Therefore, sleep apnea interrupts sleep and can cause several other symptoms, including excessive daytime fatigue. It has also has been associated with generalized inflammation, endocrine and cardiovascular problems.

What is the connection between sleep apnea and hearing loss? According to the study, . . . .

Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/10/sleep-apnea-tied-to-hearing-loss/#rmz3rX6W4qOVFTFM.99

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  . . .

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.”

 

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,