Navigation Links
Researchers develop first implanted device to treat balance disorder
Date:10/21/2010

A University of Washington Medical Center patient on Thursday, Oct. 21, will be the world's first recipient of a device that aims to quell the disabling vertigo associated with Meniere's disease.

The UW Medicine clinicians who developed the implantable device hope that success in a 10-person surgical trial of Meniere's patients will lead to exploration of its usefulness against other common balance disorders that torment millions of people worldwide.

The device being tested a cochlear implant and processor with re-engineered software and electrode arrays represents four-plus years of work by Drs. Jay Rubinstein and James Phillips of UW's Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. They worked with Drs. Steven Bierer, Albert Fuchs, Chris Kaneko, Leo Ling and Kaibao Nie, UW specialists in signal processing, brainstem physiology and vestibular neural coding.

"What we're proposing here is a potentially safer and more effective therapy than exists now," said Rubinstein, an ear surgeon and auditory scientist who has earned a doctoral degree in bioengineering and who holds multiple U.S. patents.

In the United States, Meniere's affects less than one percent of the population. The disease occurs mostly in people between ages 30 and 50, but can strike anyone. Patients more often experience the condition in one ear; about 30 percent of cases are bilateral.

The disease affects hearing and balance with varying intensity and frequency but can be extremely debilitating. Its episodic attacks are thought to stem from the rupture of an inner-ear membrane. Endolymphatic fluid leaks out of the vestibular system, causing havoc to the brain's perception of balance.

To stave off nausea, afflicted people must lie still, typically for several hours and sometimes up to half a day while the membrane self-repairs and equilibrium is restored, said Phillips, a UW research associate professor and director of the UW Dizziness and Balance Center. Because the attacks come with scant warning, a Meniere's diagnosis can cause people to change careers and curb their lifestyles.

Many patients respond to first-line treatments of medication and changes to diet and activity. When those therapies fail to reduce the rate of attacks, surgery is often an effective option but it typically is ablative (destructive) in nature. In essence, the patient sacrifices function in the affected ear to halt the vertigo akin to a pilot who shuts down an erratic engine during flight. Forever after, the person's balance and, often, hearing are based on one ear's function.

With their device, Phillips and Rubinstein aim to restore the patient's balance during attacks while leaving natural hearing and residual balance function intact.

A patient wears a processor behind the affected ear and activates it as an attack starts. The processor wirelessly signals the device, which is implanted almost directly underneath in a small well created in the temporal bone. The device in turn transmits electrical impulses through three electrodes inserted into the canals of the inner ear's bony labyrinth.

"It's an override," Phillips said. "It doesn't change what's happening in the ear, but it eliminates the symptoms while replacing the function of that ear until it recovers."

The specific placement of the electrodes in the bony labyrinth is determined by neuronal signal testing at the time of implant. The superior semicircular canal, lateral semicircular canal and posterior semicircular canal each receive one electrode array.

A National Institutes of Health grant funded the development of the device and its initial testing at the Washington National Primate Research Center. The promising results from those tests led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in June, to approve the device and the proposed surgical implantation procedure. Shortly thereafter, the limited surgical trial in humans won approval from the Western Institutional Review Board, an independent body charged with protecting the safety of research subjects.

By basing their invention on cochlear implants whose design and surgical implantation were already FDA-approved, Phillips and Rubinstein leapfrogged scientists at other institutions who had begun years earlier but chosen to develop novel prototypes.

"If you started from scratch, in a circumstance like this where no one has ever treated a vestibular disorder with a device, it probably would take 10 years to develop such a device," Rubinstein said.

The device epitomizes the translational advancements pursued at UW's academic medical centers, he said. He credited the team's skills and its access to the primate center, whose labs facilitated the quick turnaround of results that helped win the FDA's support.

A successful human trial could lead the implant to become the first-choice surgical intervention for Meniere's patients, Phillips said, and spark collaboration with other researchers who are studying more widespread balance disorders.

The first patient will be a 56-year-old man from Yakima, Wash. He has unilateral Meniere's disease and has been a patient of Rubinstein's for about two years.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Guiden
mguiden@uw.edu
206-616-3192
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Harm reduction cigarettes can be more harmful than conventional brands, researchers report
2. Iowa State, USDA researchers discover eye test for neurological diseases in livestock
3. Japanese researchers report on liver transplantation studies using animal and iPS cells
4. OU researchers awarded $3M DOE grant to determine effects of climate change on two ecosystems
5. UMMS researchers identify protein associated with sporadic ALS
6. Yale University researchers find key genetic trigger of depression
7. Researchers report advances vs. preeclampsia, including potential prediction
8. Researchers develop oral delivery system to treat inflammatory bowel diseases
9. In Parkinsons disease, brain cells abandon mitochondria, researchers report
10. MIT researchers develop a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells
11. Scripps researchers, UCSD chemists to create center devoted to chemistrys influence on climate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers develop first implanted device to treat balance disorder
(Date:6/27/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. The report forecasts the ... at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period 2016-2020. ... analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the market ... also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016  The American College of Medical Genetics ... Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing trade shows ... at the Bellagio in Las Vegas . ... percentage of growth in each of the following categories: net ... and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that asks ... systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at the ... York City . The teams, chosen ... MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. Keynote ... of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: