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Can Vitamins and Minerals Prevent Hearing Loss?
Date:11/10/2008

e noise-induced hearing impairment.

Now, AuraQuell is being tested in a set of four multinational human clinical trials: military trials in Sweden and Spain, an industrial trial in Spain, and a trial involving students at the University of Florida who listen to music at high volumes on their iPods and other PDAs, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is the first NIH-funded clinical trial involving the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.

"If we can even see 50 percent of the effectiveness in humans that we saw in our animal trials, we will have an effective treatment that will very significantly reduce noise-induced hearing impairment in humans. That would be a remarkable dream," says co-lead researcher Josef M. Miller, Ph.D. (http://www.khri.med.umich.edu/faculty/miller.php ), the Lynn and Ruth Townsend Professor of Communication Disorders and director of the Center for Hearing Disorders at the U-M Department of Otolaryngology's Kresge Hearing Research Institute. Miller is leading the research along with colleagues at Karolinska Institute, where Miller also has an appointment; the University of Florida; and the University Castille de La Mancha.

Until a decade ago, it was thought that noise damaged hearing by intense mechanical vibrations that destroyed the delicate structures of the inner ear. There was no intervention to protect the inner ear other than reducing then intensity of sound reaching it, such as ear plugs, which are not always effective. It was then discovered that noise caused intense metabolic activity in the inner ear and the production of molecules that damage the inner ear cells; and that allowed the discovery of an intervention to prevent these effects.

The laboratory research that led to a new understanding of the mechanisms underlying noise induce hearing loss was funded by the NIH; the preclinical translational resear
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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