Noise-induced hearing loss is a key challenge in otolaryngology today. Interestingly, an older class of antiepileptic drugs, T-type calcium blockers, may hold promise as preventive agents.
Explore this issue:August 2007
In a recently published study, a transnational team of Chinese and US investigators found that mice that were given trimethadione (Tridione) or ethosuximide (Zarontin) and then exposed to loud noises had lower levels of permanent noise-induced hearing loss than did controls.1 The rationale for using these agents was that since calcium dysregulation is known to contribute to noise-induced hearing loss, calcium channel blockers may have preventive value.
In the study, the investigators divided the mice into three groups: a prevention group, which received the medications in drinking water prior to noise exposure; a treatment group, which received the medications after noise exposure; and controls, which received neither medication. The medications were delivered separately in the preventive and treatment groups.