Research

This post was written by Mike on March 6, 2012
Posted Under: General Information on Meniere's Disease / Syndrome

Meniere’s Disease Research

Update 2017: 4 years on, what are people saying about Managing Meniere’s Disease – How to Live Symptom Free – Click Here to Read

Meniere's Disease Research GraphA selection of old posts related to Meniere’s Disease research are archived here:

High School Boy’s research into Meniere’s Disease

There is very little research ongoing for Meniere’s Disease that we hear of. But with the Gene research in the US and The Sydney research center in Australia and now this, things seem to be moving finally….

It took a 17 year old High School boy in L.A. to come up with the discovery of the presence of cochlin (a protein unique to the inner ear) in vestibular endorgans obtained at surgery from patients diagnosed with Meniere’s disease.”

Malhotra, the student, said: “If we can find a way to fix these proteins that are malfunctioning or possibly open the passages, then we can get rid of symptoms”

Read about the Meniere’s research here

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Meniere’s Disease Gene Study

Genetic Studies in Meniere's Disease I found a video about a Meniere’s Disease Gene Study on medical site (see below). Genetic links have been dismissed in most quarters, though we have had a number of people contact us who swear it runs in their family.

In my opinion (for what it’s worth) it can vary greatly from person to person in terms of cause, triggers and individual circumstances affecting their Meniere’s condition…

But the study hopes to find a common thread in sample DNA from Meniere’s disease patients. And then try to develop an effective treatment that tackles the disease direct rather than the symptoms…….the sooner the better!

Watch the video here

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Meniere’s Laboratory in Sydney Paves The Way for Research

Meniere's Research Sydney UniversityAussie bids to crack middle ear disease

It’s time to pull the mysterious “dizzy terror” which afflicts at least 50,000 Australians out of medical science’s too hard basket, an Australian researcher says.

Dr Daniel Brown, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Sydney’s Medical School, heads the world’s first research facility solely dedicated to finding the cause and a cure for Meniere’s Disease.

The debilitating condition of the middle ear has been baffling scientists since it was first described by French physician Prosper Meniere in 1861.

Its cause remains unclear – genetic, hormonal or even a viral trigger for fluid or pressure fluctuations within the body’s balancing mechanism, the middle ear – but its impact on sufferers is well known.

They experience sudden and recurring bouts of dizziness, each lasting up to 24 hours and accompanied by nausea and vomiting, with the first of these attacks usually occurring in a person’s mid-30s.

“Some people will get these attacks and will immediately drop to the floor and other people they can sense it is coming on,” Dr Brown, who heads the Meniere’s Laboratory, told AAP this week.

“Imagine being so dizzy that you have to call an ambulance and stay in hospital for a couple of days.

“… Or if you’ve ever had a big night out and then the room is spinning and you just want it to stop – well times that by 10.”

When a sufferer experienced one of these attacks, which they dub the “dizzy terror”, in public they may be dismissed by onlookers as simply being drunk.

Dr Brown said these attacks often occurred in clusters. Stress could bring on an attack as could a diet high in salt while sufferers would also experience worsening hearing and balance problems over time.

It was also common for sufferers to report feeling increasingly sensitive to certain sounds and changes in atmospheric pressure.

Sufferers could feel uncomfortable driving in a car with the window down while routine sounds could also have a “distressing” effect.

“When you have a complex hearing loss, your brain reorganises itself,” Dr Brown said.

“They’ll flush the toilet and say that sounds awful … it can have a high-pitched wheeling. It won’t sound right.”

Dr Brown said this all added up to a debilitating condition that was enough to force some sufferers out of the workforce.

While 50,000 Australians were diagnosed with the condition the total number of sufferers could be triple this as the condition was often confused for migraine or vertigo.

Diagnosing was also no guarantee of fixing the problem, Dr Brown said, as conventional treatments alleviate the dizzy spell but do not halt the decline in hearing or balance.

“Clinicians all know about it, and know of Meniere’s sufferers, but because they can’t really help them it gets put to the side,” Dr Brown said.

“People have been studying it for the last 100 years and they drop it because they think that’s old Meniere’s Disease, no one is ever going to come up with an explanation for that or come up with a cure.

“It’s done with – we can’t work it out.”

The Meniere’s Laboratory was established last year as the culmination of about eight years of fundraising by the Meniere’s Research Fund, a group formed by Australian sufferers.

Dr Brown’s work is now focused on trying to find an improved diagnostic test for identifying excess fluid in the ear and determining the effects of the resultant build-up of pressure.

Recent studies overseas had made some headway in understanding what a sufferer experienced at the height of a dizzy attack, he said, including a spike in sensitivity for the middle ear without temporary deafness.

Dr Brown said there was a growing global momentum behind the research effort, with the aim of pushing treatment to the next step.

“The you-beaut treatment would stop the attack and prevent the degeneration of hearing and balance,” he said.

“.. And that would be a god-send for these people, allowing them to get back on with their normal lives.

“These people are distraught with the fear of when one of these attacks is going to come on.”

Taken from http://news.ninemsn.com.au

You can see the whole article here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/1068824/aussie-bids-to-crack-middle-ear-disease

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Money Made Available For Meniere’s Disease Treatment Tests

Meniere's Disease & Vertigo DexamethasoneSan Diego-based Otonomy, which is developing treatments for Meniere’s disease, said today that it has raised $10M in a Series A financing round. The round came from Avalon Ventures. According to Otonomy, the funding will go towards supporting the ongoing clinical trial for its compound, to initiate IND studies for a second compound, and early-stage development of a third program. Otonomy is headed by Jay Lichter, who is also a managing director at Avalon Ventures. Otonomy’s first product is a sustained release formulation of steroid dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is a potent synthetic member of the glucocorticoid class of steroid drugs that has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant properties. It has been developed in oral form and through direct injection into the ear.

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Meniere's Disease & StressStress And Meniere’s Disease

According to ClinicalTrials.gov a new set of trials are set to begin at Osaka University, related to stress management and Meniere’s Disease

One important aspect of this is that, while many doctors in the west dismiss Stress as a factor the researchers in Osaka had this to say,”Attacks in Meniere’s disease, characterized by vertigo and hearing loss, are well known to occur repeatedly under stressed environment. Hitherto, its pathology was revealed to be inner ear hydrops through human temporal bone studies in 1938″

Read more about this study here

Read More on Stress and Meniere’s disease here

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News Flash! Meniere’s Disease DNA Testing – Looking For Causes

To there has been far too little research into Meniere’s Disease. But we saw this today on Medstar Television’s website and had to spread the word.

Meniere's Disease DNAMeniere’s DNA Study
WRITTEN BY KRISTI RUNYON
MONDAY, 15 MARCH 2010 11:08

Looking for a Cause

The exact cause of Meniere’s disease isn’t known. Researchers believe the symptoms may occur when fluid from one part of the inner ear mixes with another inner ear fluid. Rick Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., Neurotologist with the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, CA, says some patients report having a cold, sinus infection or some other illness prior to the onset of symptoms.

Meniere’s also tends to run in families, so there may be some genetic link to the disease. Researchers at the House Ear Institute are now looking for people with Meniere’s disease who are willing to submit saliva samples for DNA analysis. Investigators will compare the genome from Meniere’s patients against those without the disease and look for differences in DNA. Friedman says finding those differences may provide clues that lead to a better understanding of Meniere’s and point the way for more effective treatment.

Currently, more than 700 patients have volunteered for the study. Patients from around the world may participate. For information or to find out how to become involved in the Meniere’s DNA study, call the House Ear Institute at (213) 483-4431, or visit their website at http://www.hei.org/research/genetics/menieres.html

AUDIENCE INQUIRY

For information or to find out how to become involved in the Meniere’s DNA study, call the House Ear Institute at (213) 483-4431, or visit their website at http://www.hei.org/research/genetics/menieres.html. You may also contact researchers directly: Jeff Ohmen, 213-273-8065, johmen@hei.org or
Cory White, 213-273-8066, cwhite@hei.org .
For general information on Meniere’s Disease:
American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, http://www.entnet.org
American Hearing Research Foundation, http://www.american-hearing.org
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, http://www.nidcd.nih.gov

Research compiled and edited by Barbara J. Fister

© 2010 Medstar Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Read a related study to stress and Meniere’s disease here

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