News Updates: Research

Rethinking Motion Sickness

Posted by Kerrie Denner

By Peter Andrey Smith

In a cavernous basement laboratory at the University of Minnesota, Thomas Stoffregen thrusts another unwitting study subject — well, me — into the “moving room.” The chamber has a concrete floor and three walls covered in faux marble. As I stand in the middle, on a pressure sensitive sensor about the size of a bathroom scale, the walls lurch inward by about a foot, a motion so disturbing that I throw up my arms and stumble backward. Indeed, the demonstration usually throws adults completely off balance.

Yale University Acoustic Neuroma Study

Posted by Kerrie Denner

Dr. Elizabeth B. Claus from Yale University launched the collection of data from acoustic neuroma patients at the Acoustic Neuroma Association's (ANA) National Symposium in Los Angeles to initiate the first AN causation research study of this type. The goal of the study is to determine whether or not there are possible genetic risk factors that cause an AN.

NIH Study Uncovers a Starring Role for Supporting Cells in the Inner Ear: Human Trials Planned to Probe the Cell’s Protective Powers

Posted by Kerrie Denner
Contact: Robin Latham
NIDCD Office of Health Communication and Public Liaison
(301) 496-7243

Researchers have found in mice that supporting cells in the inner ear, once thought to serve only a structural role, can actively help repair damaged sensory hair cells, the functional cells that turn vibrations into the electrical signals that the brain recognizes as sound.

NIDCD-Supported Researchers Close In on Identification of the Ever Elusive Mechanotransduction Channel in the Inner Ear

Posted by Kerrie Denner

Researchers at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), one of the National Institutes of Health, working with scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital, recently identified two inner ear proteins that are critical for hearing. When certain genetic mutations harm these proteins, a type of delayed, progressive hearing loss may result. Results from the study were published in the July 18 online edition of Neuron.

SLC26A4 Gene Fix Leads To Restoration Of Hearing And Balance

Posted by Kerrie Denner

A research project at Kansas State University has potential to treat human deafness and loss of balance.

More than 28 million people in the United States suffer some form of hearing loss and mutation of the SLC26A4 gene, normally found in the cochlea and vestibular organs of the inner ear as well as in the endolymphatic sac, a non-sensory part of the inner ear, is implicated as one of the most common forms of hereditary hearing loss in children worldwide.


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