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Archive for June 2013

New Views of Motion Sickness

Posted by Kerrie Denner

By Sumathi Reddy

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Researchers from the Navy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and academia are studying causes and potential treatments of motion sickness, hoping to formulate better products for situations that range from the extreme (space!) to the mundane (road trip to Grandma's, anyone?).

Helping to restore balance after inner ear disorder

Posted by Kerrie Denner

Many disorders of the inner hear which affect both hearing and balance can be hugely debilitating and are currently largely incurable. Cochlear implants have been used for many years to replace lost hearing resulting from inner ear damage. However, to date, there has not been an analogous treatment for balance disorders resulting from inner ear disease. One potential new treatment is an implantable vestibular prosthesis which would directly activate the vestibular nerve by electrical stimulation. This prosthetic treatment is tested in a new study by Christopher Phillips and his colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. Their findings are published in the Springer journal Experimental Brain Research.

Researchers Discover Two-Step Mechanism of Inner Ear Tip Link Regrowth: Mechanism Offers Potential for Interventions That Could Save Hearing

Posted by Kerrie Denner

A team of NIH-supported researchers is the first to show, in mice, an unexpected two-step process that happens during the growth and regeneration of inner ear tip links. Tip links are extracellular tethers that link stereocilia, the tiny sensory projections on inner ear hair cells that convert sound into electrical signals, and play a key role in hearing. The discovery offers a possible mechanism for potential interventions that could preserve hearing in people whose hearing loss is caused by genetic disorders related to tip link dysfunction. The work was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a component of the National Institutes of Health.

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