From the Journals: Scientists Find Tinnitus Cause, Preventive Drug An epilepsy drug shows promise in an animal model at preventing tinnitus from developing after exposure to loud noise, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The findings, reported in the early online version of the Proceedings of ... From the Journals
From the Journals  |   July 01, 2013
From the Journals: Scientists Find Tinnitus Cause, Preventive Drug
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Hearing Disorders / From the Journals
From the Journals   |   July 01, 2013
From the Journals: Scientists Find Tinnitus Cause, Preventive Drug
The ASHA Leader, July 2013, Vol. 18, 34. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ5.18072013.34
The ASHA Leader, July 2013, Vol. 18, 34. doi:10.1044/leader.FTJ5.18072013.34
An epilepsy drug shows promise in an animal model at preventing tinnitus from developing after exposure to loud noise, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
The findings, reported in the early online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal for the first time the reason the chronic and sometimes debilitating condition occurs.
Previous research revealed that tinnitus is associated with hyperactivity of DCN cells—they fire impulses even when there is no actual sound to perceive. For the new experiments, researchers took a close look at the biophysical properties of tiny channels, called KCNQ channels, through which potassium ions travel in and out of the cell, and which act as effective "brakes" to reduce the activity of neuronal cells. Researchers believe a reduction in KCNQ activity leads to tinnitus.
After using noise to induce tinnitus in mice, researchers tested whether an FDA-approved epilepsy drug called retigabine—which specifically enhances KCNQ channel activity—could prevent them from developing tinnitus. Thirty minutes into the noise exposure and twice daily for the next five days, researchers injected half of the exposed group with retigabine.
The researchers found that the mice treated with retigabine immediately after noise exposure did not develop tinnitus. Consistent with previous studies, half of the noise-exposed mice that were not treated with the drug exhibited behavioral signs of the condition.
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July 2013
Volume 18, Issue 7