January 2019
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye"
The quarterly newsletter of Turner Scientific
Quarterly News in Otology and Research
In each edition, we will summarize developments in hearing science and new potential treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus. Below are selected articles released over the last quarter.
Signaling pathway found for hair cell regeneration
Lost mammalian hair cells cannot be replaced, leading to permanent hearing deficits. Cochlear supporting cells can potentially differentiate into new hair cells, but related signaling pathways are poorly understood. In September 2018, researchers at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY, published results showing that activation of a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family, ERBB2, can drive supporting cell proliferation and hair cell differentiation in a mouse model. It is hoped that future treatments for humans can exploit this signaling pathway and replace lost hair cells.

( Zhang, J., Wang, Q., Abdul-Aziz, D., Mattiacio, J., Edge, A.S.B., & White, P.M. (2018). ERBB2 signaling drives supporting cell proliferation in vitro and apparent supernumerary hair cell formation in vivo in the neonatal mouse cochlea. Eur J Neurosci 48(10), 3299-3316.)
Higher health care costs are associated with untreated hearing loss in older adults
A retrospective study using a health insurance database sought to determine if untreated hearing loss is associated with increased health care costs. Among the 4,728 adults with 10-year follow up data available, those with untreated hearing loss (defined as hearing loss not treated with hearing aids) incurred 46% higher health care costs, more inpatient hospital stays, and were at higher risk of hospital readmission, compared to those without hearing loss.

(Reed, N.S., Altan, A., Deal, J.A., Jeh, C., Kravetz, A.D., Wallhagnen, M., & Lin F.R. (2018). Trends in health care costs and utilization associated with untreated hearing loss over 10 years. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, epublication ahead of print.)
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in treating tinnitus
A randomized, prospective study of 100 participants with chronic tinnitus compared standard therapy (masking therapy and sound treatment) with standard therapy plus CBT. After treatment, symptoms such as psychotic somatization, depression, anxiety, and hostility were significantly decreased in the CBT group, as were serum cortisol and interleukin-2 levels.

(Li, J. Jin, J., Xi, S., Zhu, Q., Chen, Y., Huang, M., & He, C. (2018) Clinical efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic subjective tinnitus. Am J Otolaryngol, epublication ahead of print.)
Direct current stimulation (DCS) and be effective in treating tinnitus
A literature review of randomized, controlled trials assessing the therapeutic effect of transcranial DCS revealed an overall positive effect of DCS on tinnitus symptoms, and on comorbidities such as depression and anxiety. While the variations in types of tinnitus, devices, protocols, and sites of stimulation made direct comparisons of studies difficult, transcranial DCS may be a safe and cost-effective adjunct treatment for tinnitus.

( Yuan, T., Yadollahpour, Y., Salgado-Ramirez, J., Robles-Camarillo, D., & Ortega-Palacios, R. (2018). Transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of tinnitus: a review of clinical trials and mechanisms of action. BMC Neurosci, 19(1), 66.)
Coffee may offer protection against hearing loss and tinnitus
A national, population-based survey was reviewed in Korea to investigate the association of coffee consumption with hearing loss and tinnitus. 13,448 participants were evaluated with medical interviews, physical exams, hearing tests, tinnitus questionnaires, and nutrition exams. Daily coffee consumers tended to have 50-70% less bilateral hearing loss than rare coffee drinkers in a dose-dependent relationship. Additionally, the frequency of coffee consumption had an inverse correlation with tinnitus.

(Lee, S.Y., Jung, G., Jang, M.J., Suh, M.W., Lee, J.H., Oh, S.H., & Park, M.K. (2018). Association of coffee consumption with hearing and tinnitus based on a national population-based survey. Nutrients, 10, 1429.)
Another case of hearing loss associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) drug
A 53-year old male experienced a sudden unilateral sensorineural hearing loss, sensation of fullness, and tinnitus one day after ingestion of tadalafil (Cialis). MRI revealed evidence of cochlear hydrops on the symptomatic side. This is the first known case of hydrops and hearing loss associated with recent ED drug use, and suggests that hydrops may be a potential mechanism of ED-drug associated hearing loss.

(Wester, J.L., Ishiyama, G., Karnezis, S., & Ishiyama, A. (2018). Sudden hearing loss after Cialis (tadalafil) use: a unique case of cochlear hydrops. Laryngoscope, 128(11), 2615-2618.)
Compound may serve as protectant against cisplatin and aminoglycoside ototoxicity
Ototoxins such as cisplatin and aminoglycosides are well known to damage or destroy hair cells through generation of reactive oxygen species. Quinoxaline is a quinoline ring derivative with neuroprotective, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory activities. A study in zebrafish showed that quinoxaline protects the hair cells of the lateral line against cisplatin and aminoglycoside ototoxicity, suggesting this compound as hearing preservation treatment for patients receiving these drugs.

(Sanchez, S.M.R., Fuson, O., Tarang, S., Goodman, L., Pyakurel, U., Liu, H., He, D.Z., & Zallocchi, M. (2018). Quinoxaline protects zebrafish lateral line hair cells from cisplatin and aminoglycosides damage. Sci Rep, 8, 15119.)
Recent Activity at Turner Scientific
Turner Scientific: A Leading Provider of Otologic Preclinical Testing
Turner Scientific Preclinical Hearing Research is dedicated to advancing treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus, and protecting ears from unnecessary damage caused by any medication or chemical.

We offer a complete range of otologic research capabilities, including:
  • Behavioral audiogram and tinnitus testing
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing
  • Cytocochleograms
  • General middle and inner ear histopathology
  • Multiple animal models
  • Multiple noise exposure models
  • Multiple drug delivery routes

Led by Jeremy Turner, PhD, our thorough scientific approach and deep fund of knowledge make Turner Scientific the superior choice for contracted preclinical otologic research.

Turner Scientific also provides consulting services and equipment to monitor and minimize the confounding effects of noise and vibration in vivariums. We therefore ensure that our studies are conducted in the most controlled manner possible, and allow our dozens of laboratory clients to do the same.

We are always receptive to questions and discussions of studies - please contact us and visit our website to learn more (www.turnerscientific.com).

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