Navigation Links
Helping to restore balance after inner ear disorder
Date:6/13/2013

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.

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance to varying degrees. The characteristic symptoms are episodes of vertigo, tinnitus, a feeling of pressure in the ears and hearing loss which tends to worsen as time goes on. Although there is medication which can help once an attack is underway, there is currently no long-term therapy which can resolve the disease completely.

Phillips and his colleagues have developed a vestibular prosthesis which delivers electrical stimulation to the fluid inside the semi-circular canals of the ear. In effect, the stimulation of the fluid makes the brain believe that the body is moving or swaying in a certain direction. This then causes a compensatory postural reflex to stabilize the posture thereby helping to restore balance.

For their study, this prosthesis was inserted into the ears of four subjects all suffering from long-term Meniere's disease and differing degrees of hearing loss which was resistant to other management strategies. After a full evaluation of each participant's vestibular function, their eye function was measured in response to electrical stimulation along with their postural response both with their eyes open and closed.

The researchers found that electrical stimulation of the fluid in the semicircular canals of the affected ear did result in a change in posture, the direction of which was dependent on which ear was stimulated. However, each subject had different sway responses to the stimulation given. The authors believe this could be caused by small differences in the location of the electrode between subjects. Thus fine tuning and individual calibration for each electrode implant would be required for it to be effective.

Overall the results illustrate that this type of prosthesis may eventually be a possible treatment for balance issues caused by Meniere's disease. However, there are a large number of matters which would need resolving before it is ready for use. The lack of consistency in direction and magnitude of sway response would require further study to ensure that any prosthesis developed could give reliable results for different individuals.

The authors conclude: "Taken together, our findings support the feasibility of a vestibular prosthesis for the control of balance and illustrate new challenges for the development of this technology. This study is a first step in that direction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Joan Robinson
joan.robinson@springer.com
49-622-148-78130
Springer
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pivotal role for proteins -- from helping turn carbs into energy to causing devastating disease
2. Employment Key to Helping Veterans Adjust to Life Back Home
3. Helping Alzheimers patients stay independent
4. Playfulness May Be Natures Way of Helping Romance Bloom: Study
5. Coach could be key in helping stroke patients
6. Protective bacteria in the infant gut have resourceful way of helping babies break down breast milk
7. A protein’s role in helping cells repair DNA damage
8. Old habits die hard: Helping cancer patients stop smoking
9. Dr. Michael Reiss is Helping to Reduce Neck and Back Pain in Las Vegas and is Now Welcoming New Patients
10. SOLCO Energy’s New Corporate Solar Lens Purchase Program is Helping Businesses Soar High Above the Fiscal Tax Cliff
11. Mesothelioma Victims Center Will Be Open On New Years Day In The Hopes Of Helping Victims Or Their Families Get The Names Of The Best Mesothelioma Law Firms-Get The Best
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/19/2017)... ... February 19, 2017 , ... Braun Industries will be participating ... Exposition, the event will take place February 23-25, 2017 at the Calvin L. Rampton ... Booth #909 with three new ambulances on display. , “JEMS is ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... leading source of disruptive innovation in the industry, according to the recent NEJM ... are based on surveys of the NEJM Catalyst Insights Council, a qualified group ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 18, 2017 , ... A new ... and contact points to easily connect elderly veterans of America's armed forces to ... funding. It also conveys material on this year's increase in the Veterans Pension ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... For the ... management solution to the exhibit floor for the 2017 HIMSS Conference & ... From Feb. 19–23, 2017, more than 40,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected at ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., February 19-23. Visitors to the company’s booth ... most widely used electronic patient signatures solution in healthcare . , Since ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/17/2017)... 2017 According to a new market research ... Counters), Application (Cleanroom Monitoring, Contamination Monitoring of Liquids), and End User ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD 330.6 Million by ... 3.7% from 2016 to 2021. Continue ... ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 2017 Theravance Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced the presentation of positive clinical data ... pan-Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor designed to be intestinally ... the European Crohn,s and Colitis Organization (ECCO). In ... from its completed Phase 1 study of single-ascending ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the addition ... report to their offering. ... report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada ... Asia-Pacific , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts ... analysis is provided for these markets. Market data and analytics are derived ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: