May 2019
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye"
The quarterly newsletter of Turner Scientific
guinea pig reading book, shoot in studio
Partnership with Sinclair Research
Turner Scientific has formed an exclusive partnership with Sinclair Research, a leading preclinical research provider.

In March 2019, we proudly announced the formation of an exclusive partnership with one of the industry’s leading preclinical research providers, Sinclair Research. Based in Auxvasse, MO (close to our facility in Jacksonville, IL), Sinclair offers a variety of specialty biomedical research services at their 300,000 square foot, AAALAC accredited research and production facility.

Turner Scientific will serve as Sinclair’s niche expert in auditory studies, offering Sinclair’s sponsors the ability to evaluate their compounds for efficacy in improving hearing and tinnitus, and potential for ototoxicity. Turner Scientific will also be able to offer its sponsors the capability of performing GLP-level otic research in Sinclair’s state-of-the-art GLP accredited facility. Additionally, Turner Scientific sponsors will have access to multiple large animal models supported by Sinclair, including miniature swine, a species with which Sinclair has particular expertise. 

Quarterly News in Otology and Hearing 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.
Tinnitus can improve with cochlear implantation
A systematic review of 13 studies, involving a total of 153 patients with single-sided deafness, compared pre- and post-cochlear implantation scores on several tinnitus questionnaires and scales such as the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory. 87.9% of patients with pre-implantation tinnitus reported improvement or resolution of tinnitus, while only 4.9% reported worsened tinnitus after cochlear implantation. No patients reported new onset tinnitus. This suggests that tinnitus might be considered an additional indication for cochlear implantation. 

(Peter, N., Liyanage N., Pfiffner, F., Huber, A., & Kleinjung, T. (2019). The influence of cochlear implantation on tinnitus in patients with single-sided deafness: a systematic review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, Epub ahead of print.)
Patrons at music venues prefer lower volumes
Music lovers may not be as ignorant to the risks of loud music as is commonly believed. A survey of 933 frequent patrons of night clubs and live music venues was conducted in Australia regarding their experiences and perceptions of loud music. Among frequent live music venue attendees, 96.5%, believed that the typical noise levels they experience harm their hearing, and only 14.2% believed that the sound levels were not loud enough or “just right”. Among regular night club patrons, 95.9% and 20.2%, respectively, had similar responses. However, while the vast majority of patrons would like lower sound levels, many falsely believed that louder music was preferred generally. It is important that music patrons protect their own hearing, but this study suggests that music venues should also take steps to meet their patrons’ needs and preferences.

(Beach, E. F., & Gillver, M. (2019). Time to listen: most regular patrons of music venues prefer lower volumes. Front Psychol 10, Article 607.)
Ototoxic risks to military personnel are still poorly understood
A review of literature regarding chemical ototoxins, and current military surveillance and education programs, revealed that further research is needed to better understand mechanisms, effects, and mitigation strategies of ototoxins. This report highlighted the suggestion that animal models are relevant to the ototoxic mechanisms and lesion sites in humans, and that dose-response relationships between occupational chemical exposure and auditory/vestibular damage must be better understood. Once these relationships are revealed, improved monitoring and treatment will be available for military personnel.

(Hammill, T.L., McKenna, E., Hecht, Q., Buchanan, K., & Pryor, N. (2019). I’m wearing my hearing protection – am I still at risk for hearing loss? Lurking ototoxins in the military environment. Mil Med 184, 615-620.)

Steroids are still the gold-standard treatment for autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED)
AIED usually presents as a relatively rapid progression of hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction, and can be idiopathic or associated with known autoimmune disorders. Steroid treatment has historically been the initial treatment for AIED, but relapse is common after completion of treatment and side effects are significant. Many other treatments, such as chemotherapy, plasmapheresis, biologic agents, immune mediators, and cochlear implantation, have therefore been attempted. A recent review of all available treatments for AIED concluded that no alternative to steroids is as effective. Additional animal and human studies are needed to find a more effective and permanent treatment without significant side effects.

(Sakano, H., & Harris, J.P. (2019). Emerging options in immune-mediated hearing loss. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol 4, 102-108.)

Zinc supplementation can lead to subjective tinnitus improvement
A correlation exists between noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) and oxidative injury, and because zinc is a potent anti-oxidant, it has been suggested as a potential treatment for tinnitus associated with NIHL. 20 patients with NIHL-associated tinnitus, and 20 matched controls, were given zinc supplementation for two months. While no improvements were found in objective hearing parameters (hearing thresholds, speech reception thresholds, tinnitus frequency and loudness), 85% of zinc supplementation patients reported significant improvement in Tinnitus Handicap Inventory scores. Oral zinc may thus be considered as a simple and potentially effective treatment for tinnitus.

(Yeh, C.-W., Tseng, L.-H., Yang, C.-H., & Hwang, C.-F. (2019). Effects of oral zinc supplementation on patients with noise-induced hearing loss associated tinnitus: a clinical trial. Biomed J, 42, 46-52.)

And finally: Could spicy cheesecake with chocolate chips and berry compote help hearing? On the Turner Scientific blog page, we have previously reported on the  potential hearing benefitsof D-methionine , an antioxidant found in certain types of cheese. Three recent articles suggest that other foods might help as well.
Capsaicin can protect against cisplatin ototoxicity
Capsaicin is the spicy component of hot chili peppers, and briefly activates pain receptors which are then rapidly desensitized. The same type of pain receptor (TRPV1) is expressed during cisplatin mediated ototoxicity. Using Wistar rats, a team of scientists at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine showed that capsaicin tilts the balance of a series of protein activators toward cochlear survival in the presence of cisplatin.

(Bhatta, P., Dhukhwa, A., Sheehan, K., Al Aameri, R.F.H, Borse, V., Shosh, S., et al. (2019). Capsaicin protects against cisplatin ototoxicity by changing the STAT3/STAT1 ratio and activating cannabinoid (CB2) receptors in the cochlea. Scientific Reports 9, 4131.)

Whortleberries can also protect against cisplatin ototoxicity
Whortleberries are related to blueberries, and contain high levels of anthocyanin – the pigment that gives the berries their color. Anthocyanin has been shown to have antioxidant properties, and whortleberry extract was therefore tested for its ability to prevent oxidative damage due to cisplatin administration in Wistar rats. After receiving intraperitoneal whortleberry extract for eight days, DPOAE measurements revealed a protective effect against cisplatin toxicity. High dose extract was also able to prevent histopathologic degeneration of cochlear tissues.

(Ozdemir, D., Ozgur, A., Kalkan, Y., Terzi, S., Tumkaya, L, Yilmaz, A., Celiker, M., & Dursun, E. (2019). The protective effects of whortleberry extract against cisplatin-induced ototoxicity in rats. Braz J Otorhinolaryngol 85(1), 55-62.)
Chocolate could be good for the ears
Because chocolate can exert antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, a survey of almost 3,600 participants in Korea with available data was completed to detect associations between chocolate consumption and auditory pathology. Rates of hearing loss among chocolate consumers (26.8% overall) were significantly lower than rates among those who did not eat chocolate (36.0% overall). Additionally, severity of hearing loss was inversely proportional to frequency of chocolate consumption.

(Lee, S.-Y., Jung, G., Jang, M.-J., Suh, M.-W., Lee, J., Oh, S.-H., & Park, M.K. (2019). Association of chocolate consumption with hearing loss and tinnitus in middle-aged people based on the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2012-2013. Nutrition 11, 746.)
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 (

Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on LinkedIn