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09.03.2014

Tinnitus regenerative medicine, causes of ringing in head and ears - For You

Author: admin
Advances in regenerative medicine are coming in fast and furious these days, and a remarkable new breakthrough can be added to the list. Tinnitus is associated with hearing loss that itself results from damage to the cochlea, and more specifically to the organ of Corti. Let’s assume (as we certainly do!) that the HRP will lead to a successful method for hair cell regeneration and the recovery of hearing in humans. Finally, there have been several reports that patients, after receiving a cochlear implant, experience a significant reduction in their tinnitus. The HRP has the potential to not only ameliorate hearing loss but also to potentially cure many types of tinnitus. Scientists studying the mechanisms of tinnitus in order to devise therapeutic treatments require animal models that not only experience tinnitus but also have reactions to tinnitus similar to those of humans. While the buzzing or ringing of tinnitus is the primary manifestation, suffering from tinnitus is thought to be related principally to the emotional or autonomic reactions to tinnitus. The current need is for an animal model that can display an emotional reaction or physical response to tinnitus. The first attempt to develop such an animal model is being carried out at Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions supported by a contract from the Tinnitus Research Consortium. This unusual image from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Flickr photo stream depicts mouse embryonic stem cells that have matured into bundles of hair cells similar to the ones that transmit sound in the ear. Moreover, because the therapy improved hearing in mammals, the regeneration of hair cells could introduce opportunities into potential therapeutic applications in treating sensorimotor deafness in humans.


In these cases, it is thought that individuals who have audiologically normal hearing but who suffer from tinnitus have more subtle damage to one or more restricted regions of the cochlea that are not tested by a standard audiogram. For example, tinnitus can be induced by exposure to loud sounds that result in the temporary loss of hearing, which is experienced by many after attending a loud event like a rock concert. Interestingly, in some cases this tinnitus suppression continues for several hours after the implant is turned off. It has been suggested that while tinnitus begins in the cochlea due to hair cell damage, over time it appears to set up circuits in the brain which can be independent of the inner ear. It is even possible that the central auditory system can be retrained over time, leading to a reduction in long-standing tinnitus. When the hearing of otosclerosis patients is surgically restored, the majority report that their tinnitus has either disappeared or greatly improved.
Emotional reactions to tinnitus are manifested as stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. These have been refined to elicit responses showing avoidance of unpleasant experiences, identification of the direction of the perceived tinnitus source, and poorer detection of silent gaps in noise similar to their tinnitus. For example, fear conditioning to tinnitus could be used to demonstrate anxiety or another emotional or physical response. The last couple of years have brought great discoveries on regenerative medicine, now we can add one more to the list with a hearing loss breakthrough.
This, in fact, is the definition of tinnitus: hearing a sound that has no external auditory source.


Though the mechanism by which cochlear implants may suppress tinnitus is not clear, these observations all suggest that restoring function to the auditory system may be very helpful for tinnitus in a variety of ways.
Such long-term tinnitus may not be reduced in apparent intensity by repair of the organ of Corti.
The potential for masking long-term tinnitus or reducing its annoyance factor will still be a positive benefit from hearing restoration.
His laboratory studies mechanisms of cochlear damage as well as new therapies for hearing loss, and he has served for many years on the advisory board of  the Tinnitus Research Consortium, that supported research on tinnitus. This finding suggests that restoration of hearing by hair cell regeneration, the goal of the HRP, may well lead to reduction in or elimination of tinnitus. Measuring these reactions will permit the testing of drugs and other interventions to modify or extinguish them, even if the perception of tinnitus cannot be eliminated. And at present we cannot repair damage to hair cells in humans and so cannot currently conduct clinical trials in humans with tinnitus. The accomplishment of this objective by May and his team is likely to initiate the development and validation of additional similar models for the specific research needs of other investigators engaged in leading-edge tinnitus research.




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Comments to “Tinnitus regenerative medicine”

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  3. ismayil:
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    But the time required and general lack all insurance companies cover reduced in apparent intensity by repair.