Report: Strategies to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, tinnitus in soldiersSeptember 07, 2012
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
USAMRIID research sheds light on how deadly lassa virus infects cells
Scientists have discovered that the Lassa virus, which is endemic to West Africa, uses an unexpected two-step process to enter cells.
Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment Provided by Defense Department and VA Unknown; Tracking of Outcomes Needed to Manage Growing Burden
The U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should track the outcomes of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) provided to service members and veterans and develop a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to do so, says a new congressionally mandated report from the Institute of Medicine.
NIH researchers discover key factor in early auditory system development
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered a molecule in an animal model that acts as a key player in establishing the organization of the auditory system.
Study: Infants Benefit from Implants with More Frequency Sounds
A new study from a UT Dallas researcher demonstrates the importance of considering developmental differences when creating programs for cochlear implants in infants.
Research gives new insights into rare disease of the inner ear
A new study has shed light on the factors likely to lead to the development of a rare condition affecting the inner ear.
Pharma firms turn attention to hearing loss
Hearing loss affects 36 million Americans to some degree, often leaving them feeling isolated, but it has received little attention from the pharmaceutical industry - until now.
Cleft palate discovery in dogs to aid in understanding human birth defect
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine researchers have identified the genetic mutation responsible for a form of cleft palate in the dog breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
Hearing loss affects old people's personality
As people approach old age, they generally become less outgoing. New research from the University of Gothenburg shows that this change in personality is amplified among people with impaired hearing.
School hearing tests do not detect noise exposure hearing loss
School hearing tests cannot effectively detect adolescent high-frequency hearing loss, which is typically caused by loud noise exposure, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.
Researchers find protein 'switch' central to heart cell division
In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth.
More Hearing Loss Current Events and Hearing Loss News Articles