Report: Strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus in soldiersSeptember 07, 2012
DETROIT - Antioxidants, dietary supplements and high-tech brain imaging are among some of the novel strategies that may help detect, treat and even prevent noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus among American troops, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.
A culmination of nearly 25 years of research on noise-induced hearing loss - a growing medical issue that affects more than 12 percent of American troops returning from conflicts around the globe - will be presented Sept. 9 at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Led by Michael Seidman, M.D., the research team is the first to identify how acoustic trauma from machinery and explosive devices damages the inner ear cells and breaks down cell growth, much like age-related hearing loss.
"Improvised explosive devices, aircraft and other weaponry being used by the military are frankly deafening our troops," says Dr. Seidman, director of the Division of Otologic/Neurotologic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital.
"Noise-induced hearing loss doesn't just impact a person's ability to hear; it can cause balance issues, make it difficult to sleep and communicate, and even raise the risk for heart disease by increasing a person's blood pressure, lipids and blood sugar."
As part of his presentation, Dr. Seidman will explain how noise-induced hearing loss, as well as tinnitus-related traumatic brain injury, occurs based on research from Wayne State University's Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D.
Dr. Zhang has developed a model of blast-induced tinnitus and hearing loss using a shock tube that generates a 194 decibel shock wave similar to many of the explosive devices being deployed against troops.
Further, Dr. Seidman will discuss the use of nutraceuticals, such as acetyl-l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol - a substance found in red wine and red grapes - to mitigate hearing-related issues.
Based on initial results, Dr. Seidman says a nutraceutical with a resveratrol-based component may possibly hold the potential to not only prevent, but reverse hearing loss in certain circumstances for soldiers. This research is based on animal models, but will soon be tested with humans, to see if a pill could soon be developed to prevent acoustic trauma in troops.
In addition, Dr. Seidman will highlight new research on tinnitus, a chronic ringing of the head or ears that affects more than 50 million patients.
A study co-authored by Susan Bowyer, Ph.D., senior bioscientific researcher at Henry Ford Hospital, found that an imaging technique called magnetoencephalography (MEG) can determine the site of perception of tinnitus in the brain, which could in turn allow physicians to target the area with electrical or chemical therapies to lessen symptoms.
Although is no cure for tinnitus, several interventions are available, including dietary modification, the use of specific herbs and supplements, sound therapies, centrally acting medications and electrical stimulation of the cochlea and brain using implantable electrodes and an implantable pulse generator.
To date, Dr. Seidman has treated six patients with direct electrical stimulation to the brain, reducing the tinnitus in four of those patients.
In all, the team's work on noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus has led to more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and several patents.
According to Dr. Seidman, more research and funding are needed in order to generate critical data to facilitate an understanding of the damage caused by acoustic trauma and develop strategies to mitigate that damage.
Henry Ford Health System
Related Hearing Loss Current Events and Hearing Loss News Articles
Experts make breakthrough in cleft lip and palate research
Leading scientists have identified an important gene that is associated with cleft lip and palate.
Engineering music to sound better with cochlear implants
When hearing loss becomes so severe that hearing aids no longer help, a cochlear implant not only amplifies sounds but also lets people hear speech clearly.
Wbp2 is a novel gene implicated in deafness
Researchers at King's College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss.
Proton therapy controls common pediatric brain tumor with fewer long-term side effects
The use of proton radiotherapy to treat the most common malignant brain tumor in children is as effective as standard photon (x-ray) radiation therapy while causing fewer long-term side effects such as hearing loss and cognitive disorders, according to a study receiving online publication in Lancet Oncology.
Over 400 conditions co-occur with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), study finds
Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have identified 428 distinct disease conditions that co-occur in people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), in the most comprehensive review of its kind.
Disclosure strategies may improve communication for those with hearing loss
Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers surveyed 337 patients with hearing loss to better understand the language they use with communication partners to disclose their disability.
Sound deprivation leads to irreversible hearing loss
Massachusetts Eye and Ear investigators have shown that sound deprivation in adult mice causes irreversible damage to the inner ear.
An effective integrated reproductive strategy for hearing loss by researches from China
Hearing impairment is a major public health problem in the world, affecting over 5% of the world's population - 360 million people, including 328 million adults and 32 million children.
Protein movement of hair bundles in the inner ear may preserve hearing for life
Hearing is made possible when hair bundles protruding from the tops of hair cells capture the energy of sound waves, converting them into electrical signals that stimulate the auditory nerve to the brain.
Genetic modification shows promise for preventing hereditary hearing loss
A mitochondrial defect is responsible for a type of human hereditary deafness that worsens over time and can lead to profound hearing loss.
More Hearing Loss Current Events and Hearing Loss News Articles