Many things are being used to treat sudden hearing loss-but I am most interested in antiapoptic agents…and gene therapy,Dr. Balough said.From a hair cell protection standpoint, it is interesting that you can protect hair cells not only before damage is accrued but even rescue those cells afterwards. It’s even been shown that simply taking aspirin can be otoprotective.
Explore This IssueDecember 2006
Dr. Balough said that the investigational otoprotective drug AM-111 was used to treat cochlear stress in guinea pigs in one of his studies and showed good results.
They have even enrolled people at a rock concert in Germany, dripping [AM-111] into their ears before the show, he said.It showed protective effects afterward.
Dr. Seidman said that while surgeons do know how noise affects the biochemical pathways and how those paths can be manipulated, the medical industry doesn’t know how that process relates to SSHL. Referencing the same 10% to 11% figures quoted by Dr. Hoffer, Dr. Seidman commented that therapies are being tested that have shown success regrowing outer ear hair cells and saving those that are stunned.
We can replenish antioxidants, stabilize cell membranes, inhibit apoptosis, and upregulate protective enzymes-glutathion replenishment, stabilize membranes with acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), inhibit the apoptosis with the AM-111, and upregulate with various other compounds, Dr. Seidman said.
Whatever the therapy, the number of SSHL cases is growing and science needs to answer the call, Dr. Hoffer said.
Whatever the cause, this is a debilitating and increasingly frequent medical issue, he said. The causes of sudden sensorineural hearing loss have been identified better than they had been previously, but now what do we do about it?
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