In the News - June, 2024

Sound Pharmaceuticals Tests New Drug With Cochlear Implant

Sound Pharmaceutical (SPI) is a company focusing on treatment for sensorineural hearing loss. SPI announced that it has received FDA approval to proceed with it’s Investigational New Drug Application involving SPI-1005 treatment and cochlear implantation. SPI-1005 is an anti inflammatory and neuroprotective medication used to prevent and treat sensorineural hearing loss. Previous studies have shown that it is effective in treating conditions such as Meniere’s disease, acute noise induced hearing loss, and ototoxicity. A cochlear implant is a device that is surgically placed in the ear to stimulate nerve function to improve hearing loss. Specific indications exist for candidates to be eligible to receive this procedure. SPI’s goal for this Phase 2 trial is to decrease the loss of residual hearing during and after cochlear implantation.

The Phase 2 trial intends to select 40 subjects who meet the requirements for and are scheduled to receive a cochlear implant. The subjects will then be randomized into a medication group or a placebo group. The medication group will receive treatment two days before the procedure and followed 6 months after the procedure. Results will follow. This medication is also being tested in a Phase 3 trial specific for Meniere’s disease.

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Can Tinnitus Lead to Memory Loss?

Tinnitus is a term used to describe ringing in the ears, caused internally, and audible to the person experiencing it.  Common causes of tinnitus include: consistent exposure to loud noise, various diseases, and certain types of drugs. Tinnitus is difficult to objectively test and also difficult to treat. Studies have examined the link between tinnitus and cognitive decline, memory loss, and the risk of dementia. Some connections include lack of focus, hearing loss, anxiety and depression, and sleep problems. Treatments include masking, hearing aids, cochlear implants, relaxation techniques, and sleep hygiene.

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Apple Funds Study on Tinnitus

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) has spiked in the past decade due to the burst of technology use, causing noise exposure through headphones and earphones.

Apple sponsored a study regarding the effects of sound exposure through headphones. More than 160,000 participants responded to survey questions and completed hearing assessments on Apple’s Research app.The goals of the study were to gain a deeper understanding of who may be at risk and help develop new products to reduce the risk of hearing loss. One example is a noise app on Apple Watch that sends a notification when loud sounds around you reach a level that could be risky.

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Endolymphatic Duct Blockage Surgery vs. Intratympanic Steroids for Treatment of Refractory Meniere’s Disease

Ménière’s disease (MD) is a condition of the inner ear that causes vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and ear fullness. Conservative interventions to address symptoms include restricting sodium intake, reducing stress, and medication. Persistent symptoms, however, require more invasive treatments. Two such techniques include endolymphatic duct blockage (EDB) and intratympanic methylprednisolone (ITMP) injection. This study set out to determine the effectiveness of performing a surgical procedure, endolymphatic duct blockage (EDB), vs. administering medication, intratympanic methylprednisolone(ITMP) injection, to control persistent symptoms of MD and evaluate their impact of hearing. The results of this study indicate that EDB is more effective than the ITMP for reducing vertigo and maintaining hearing.

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Summaries by Denise Schneider, DPT, FAAOMPT, ATC