Tag Archives: ear

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New app can hear if your child has an infected ear

A new smartphone app can detect ear infections in young children.

App paper funnel.

Image credits Dennis Wise / University of Washington.

Ear infections can be pretty hard to spot with children, especially very young ones. It has vague symptoms, from tug of the ears to fever, or there could be no observable symptoms at all. However, it can be painful and make it hard for children to hear, potentially even posing long-term threats. A new app developed by researchers at the University of Washington (UW) can determine the likelihood of such an infection with an accuracy of 85%

“Designing an accurate screening tool on something as ubiquitous as a smartphone can be game changing for parents as well as health care providers in resource limited regions,” said co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW’s Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering.

“A key advantage of our technology is that it does not require any additional hardware other than a piece of paper and a software app running on the smartphone.”

According to the National Institute of Health, “three of every four children have at least one episode by their third birthday,” and “almost half of those who get them will have three or more ear infections during their first three years.” It’s also one of the most common reason why parents visit a pediatrician. Luckily, they’re pretty easy to treat with antibiotics once discovered. A doctor can monitor and drain an infection if needed, which will relieve pain or hearing loss.

The team wanted to give parents a quick and reliable way of screening for the condition at home, to help them decide whether or not to take their child to the doctor. Their app generates a series of soft, audible sounds that are focused into the ear — through a small paper funnel you’ll craft — making the eardrum vibrate. By analyzing the sounds beaming back from the eardrum, the app can determine the likelihood that there is fluid behind it. It’s kind of like  “tapping a wine glass,” the team explains.

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Image credits: University of Washington. All you need is a piece of paper to cut and fold into a funnel. This funnel is rested on the outer ear, and will serve to focus the sound into the ear canal. Each sound is 150 milliseconds long, and sounds similarly to a bird chirping. The team tested their app on 53 children between the ages of 18 months and 17 years at Seattle Children’s Hospital. About half of the children were scheduled to undergo surgery for ear tube placement, a common surgery for patients with chronic or recurrent incidents of ear fluid. The other half were scheduled to undergo surgery unrelated to the ears. They tested each child with the app immediately before surgery, giving them the perfect opportunity to see the app’s accuracy.

“What is really unique about this study is that we used the gold standard for diagnosing ear infections,” said co-first author Dr. Sharat Raju, a surgical resident in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the UW School of Medicine.

“When we put in ear tubes, we make an incision into the eardrum and drain any fluid present. That’s the best way to tell if there is fluid behind the eardrum. So these surgeries created the ideal setting for this study.”

Authors note that many of the children responded to the chirps by smiling or laughing. The algorithm itself was correct in 85% of the patients, which the team says is comparable to current methods that specialized doctors use. On tests involving younger children (15 children between nine and 18 months of age) it correctly classified all five ears that were positive for fluid and nine out of the 10 ears that were not.

The paper “Detecting middle ear fluid using smartphones” has been published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Ultrasonic attacks are unlikely, but exposure to ultrasounds is unhealthy

While ultrasonic killing rays are still a thing of fiction, researchers have found that exposure to ultrasounds can be damaging to the human body.

Pressure from a point source placed at 1 m. Image credits: Leighton, 2018.

An acoustic wild west

As it’s so often the case with science, the coolest thing is unpractical, and the not-so-cool things are the ones that actually warrant our attention — and this is no exception. Researchers studying the effects of ultrasounds on the human body have concluded that while an ultrasonic gun is unrealistic, regular exposure might cause serious symptoms.

Pest deterrents, dog controllers, some automatic sliding doors, public address voice alarms — and even a device marketed in the U.K. as a teenager repellant to keep kids from loitering outside storefronts — emit different frequencies of ultrasounds. These sources are typically covert and inaudible, so it’s hard for the population to know when they are exposed to ultrasounds.

Timothy Leighton at the University of Southampton, who focuses on ultrasonic exposure, found that most of these products are marketed as harmless — but that claim not based on any actual science. Without proper science and legislation behind it, regulation of these products is like a “wild west.”

“I looked at all this stuff, and I said, ‘This is an amazing detective story,'” Leighton said. “I began to pull together a picture that, in fact, the public was being exposed.”

Piece by piece, he started to look at the background ultrasonic exposure, and how previous studies also analyzed it.

“It was extraordinary when you opened up this topic,” Leighton said. He found that many national safety guideline limits could be traced back to a handful of studies performed in the 1970s on “a small number of adult men, many of whom had experienced gunfire, some of whom had worked in the rock-n-roll hi-fi industry… So it was inadequate data on which to base standards.”

Anectodally, he found numerous complaints that were attributed to ultrasound exposure — ranging from ringing ears and nausea to dizziness and irritability. However, it was difficult to confirm these claims. Leighton says this is definitely an area that deserves more serious regulation. The first ultrasonic devices appeared on the market more than half a century ago, and since it seems like they can cause serious health problems, they should definitely be regulated — or at the very least, we should study and understand their effects.

“I think 70 years is too long to go with inappropriate guidelines,” Leighton said. “If it’s public exposure, you’re going to have children and newborns exposed as well, and we have no information whatsoever on how safe it is for them.”

Leighton also discusses the bizarre 2017 incident in Cuba — when U.S. embassy workers experienced strange symptoms of hearing loss and confusion. Although that was linked to ultrasounds, Leighton says that’s very unlikely to be the cause.

The results will be presented at the 175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Q-tips -- never inside your ears! Credit: Pixabay.

Why putting cotton swabs and other ‘pointy’ things inside your ear is a bad idea

Q-tips -- never inside your ears! Credit: Pixabay.

Q-tips — never inside your ears! Credit: Pixabay.

‘Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ears,’ said mom. Mom’s a smart woman, representatives from the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAOHNF) would say. The foundation recently published a new set of guidelines for how people should clean their ears and for the gazillionth time they’ve reiterated that you should stay away from inserting Q-tips, pen caps, paper clips or even pinky fingers inside your ear.

There’s this false impression that ear wax is a sign of uncleanliness, that it’s dirty somehow. By using cotton swabs or some other kind of ‘creative’ objects to pull out the wax, some people think they’re doing their ears a favor. Doctors, however, stress that this is wrong and, most often than not, makes things worse. In fact, in many cases, using Q-tips actually creates problems where there were none to begin with.

“This update is significant because it not only provides best practices for clinicians in managing cerumen impaction, it is a strong reminder to patients that ear health starts with them, and there are many things they should do as well as many things that they should stop doing immediately to prevent damage to their ears,” said Seth R. Schwartz, MD, MPH, chair of the guideline update group.

Ear wax or cerumen is a natural product of our bodies, like sweat and tears. It’s produced by tiny glands nested inside the ear canal and its role is to protect the outer ear from dust and other impurities. The cerumen also acts as an antifungal and antibacterial substance. In other words, ear wax is very important to your ear’s health — far from being a sign of uncleanliness.

Not all people produce the same amount of wax, as it varies from individual to individual. When there’s too little ear wax, the ear canal becomes dry, itchy and prone to infection. If an excessive amount of ear wax is produced, it can build-up deep in the ear canal affecting the hearing quality and the optimal operation of hearing aids. Wax build-up can also lead to aching, pressure or dizziness.

[ALSO SEE] How we hear and other eary functions

Excessive ear wax is called impacted cerumen and it affects 1 in 10 children, 1 in 20 adults, and more than one-third of the geriatric. According to these statistics, you stand at low risk of developing wax build-up in your ears and hence do not require cleaning the inside of your ear. If you’re not sure, check for the symptoms above.

For most people, old wax is naturally discarded as it dries and forms a crust or as skin grows. A lot of people, however, get impacted cerumen after they decide it’s a good idea to stick things inside the ear.

“Patients often think that they are preventing earwax from building up by cleaning out their ears with cotton swabs, paper clips, ear candles, or any number of unimaginable things that people put in their ears. The problem is that this effort to eliminate earwax is only creating further issues because the earwax is just getting pushed down and impacted further into the ear canal,” Dr. Schwartz said. “Anything that fits in the ear could cause serious harm to the ear drum and canal with the potential for temporary or even permanent damage.”

Doctors say that cotton swabs are meant only to clean the creases of the outer ear and should not be put inside the ear canal. If your ears are genuinely blocked by wax, a solution is to pour a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil or glycerin in the ear. The recommendation, however, is to visit a doctor who has the training and special tools to irrigate and flush out the ears.

Here are the most important guidelines from the new AAOHNF update:

  • DON’T overclean your ears. Excessive cleaning may irritate the ear canal, cause infection, and even increase the changes of cerumen impaction.
  • DON’T put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear. Cotton swabs, hair pins, care keys, toothpicks…these can all injure your ear and may cause a laceration (cut) in the ear canal, a perforation (hole) in the eardrum, and/or dislocation of the hearing bones, leading to hearing loss, dizziness, ringing, and other symptoms of ear injury.
  • DON’T use ear candles. There is no evidence that they remove impacted cerumen, and candling can cause serious damage to the ear canal and eardrum.
  • DO seek medical evaluation if you have symptoms of hearing loss, ear fullness, and ear pain if you are not certain that they are from cerumen.
  • DO ask your provider about ways that you can treat your cerumen impaction at home. You may have certain medical or ear conditions that may make some options unsafe.
  • DO seek medical attention with ear pain, drainage, or bleeding. These are not symptoms of cerumen impaction and need further evaluation.

How hearing works and other eary functions

I like my ears. I’ve been told they go well with my face, and they’re really good at holding the hair out of my eyes.! Yay for ears!

But (spoiler alert) these are not our ears’ primary functions. The workings of our ears’ internal mechanisms underpin two of our senses — hearing and balance (called equilibrioception).

So, have you ever been to a concert and wondered exactly how is it you can hear that mad riff that has hairs standing up the back of your neck? Or why you get dizzy headbanging to it? Well, we’re here to tell you all about your ears.

Image via Flickr.

Hearing all about it

Our sense of hearing evolved to satisfy our need for a way to survey our environment for predators, prey, and natural disasters. While most of us tend to rely on seeing as our dominant source of information, the sense is not without its limits. The quality of reliable information our eyes feed us deteriorates rapidly as light levels drop, and they can only see a small area in front of us — and even there, it’s pretty easy to hide from or confuse it. Here’s an example:

Somewhere here there’s a snow leopard stalking the goats. Can you find it?

The leopard is literally in plain sight, but it took me around three or four minutes to spot it. And that’s only because I knew it was supposed to be there so I really looked for it. By mimicking the environment, the predator fooled my brain into signing it off as just another pebble or rock. If I relied on my eyes alone, this slope would appear safe and the next thing you know, I’m a leopard’s chew toy.

That’s why hearing is so important. It allows us to keep tabs on our whole environment, 24/7, no matter where we’re looking or what we’re doing. It’s long-range enough to give us time to react to threats and it works basically everywhere.

Except in space.

The sensory organ that handles hearing is the ear. Through them, our brain can pick up pressure waves traveling through air, water or solids by turning the particle motion into sensory input. However, the flappy piece of tissue that most of us call an “ear” is actually an auricle (or pinna in other animals) and it’s just a small part of a much larger and complex mechanism.

The auricle acts like a funnel, capturing sound and directing it into the auditory canal. It also filters sound so only frequencies that you can actually hear are sent to your actual ear.

At the end of this canal, the sound hits the tympanic membrane, a piece of tissue that you might know as the eardrum. The tympanic membrane serves as the limit between the outer and middle ear. The membrane is thin enough that pressure waves cause it to vibrate, and in turn move three tiny auditory ossicles attached to it (the malleus, incus, and stapes).

These bones amplify the sound vibrations and send them to the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure filled with fluid in the bony labyrinth.

Image Wikipediadia

An elastic membrane runs from the beginning to the end of the cochlea, splitting it into an upper and a lower part. It has a hugely important part to play in our hearing; The vibrations from the eardrum apply pressure to the fluids inside the cochlea, causing ripples to form on the membrane.

This membrane houses sensory cells that have bristly structures protruding from them (they’re named hair cells because of this) which pick up on the motion by hitting the upper part of the cochlea. When the “hairs” bend, they open pore-like structures that allow for chemicals to pass through, creating an electrical signal for the auditory nerve to pick up.

But the ear isn’t just about hearing, it’s also the organ that allows us to keep balance. Balance is the ability to maintain the body’s center of mass over its base of support. While achieving this takes a lot of information from the different senses, the ear’s vestibular system feeds our brain vital information about our body’s position and movement. Kinda like our own personal gyroscopes.

3D image of the cochlea and vestibular system.
Image via Wikipedia

The vestibular system is made up of those three semicircular canals you can see in the picture above. They’re placed at a roughly 90 degrees angle to each other and are called the lateral, superior, and inferior canals. Each of them is filled with liquid that flows in response to our body’s movements and pushes on hair cells in a structure called the cupula. Due to their position, each canal is sensitive to one type of movement:

  • The horizontal semicircular canal picks up on head movements around a vertical axis, i.e. on the neck (as when doing a pirouette)
  • The anterior and posterior canals detect rotations on the sagittal plane (for example, nodding) and the frontal plane (as when cartwheeling) respectively. Both anterior and posterior canals are orientated at an approximately 45 degrees angle between the frontal and sagittal planes.

The electrical signals from the cupula is carried through the vestibulocochlear nerve to the cerebellum for processing.

But, as always, both the voices and balance are just…

Products of your brain

Sensory organs are just that, organs that sense stuff. But they can’t make heads or tails of the information they provide, just as a microphone feeds information to your PC but doesn’t understand it by itself.

Hearing and balance also conform to that rule. The brain decodes information received from the ears and processes them mostly in the auditory cortex.

The auditory cortex, shown in pink, with other areas that lend a hand in processing information from our ears colored.

Equilibrium is maintained by the cerebellum (also known as the little brain) by using data from the semicircular canals along with information supplied by other senses.

calcium_carbonate_ear

These rocks in your head keep you balanced

calcium_carbonate_ear

SEM via Science Source.

The beautiful colored image above might look like beach pebbles, yet in reality it shows a glimpse from an even tinnier world – it’s a colored scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of calcium carbonate deposited on the surface of an otolith, found in the Acoustic Macula. These tiny debris also fit a purpose, helping the body stay in equilibrium, whether in static (position of the head) or dynamic equilibrium (relative position function of linear acceleration). In fact, they’re often called balancing stones, despite their lack of zen at first glance.

[ALSO READ] How we hear directly with our skull

nerve_cells_ear

The acceleration of an ascending roller coaster moves the otolithic membrane, stimulating nerves that helps us recognize movement. Image via Science Source

Located in the inner ear, the acoustic macula is made up of hair cells (the orange ones on the right-side image), which are the basically the sensory cells that pick up air pressure later translated into sound, and supporting cells (in pink). Each hair cells is made up of between 40 and 70 stereocilia and one kinocilium.

The supporting cells secrete a gelatinous substance forming the otolithic membrane, where the stereocilia and kinocilia become embedded, hence the name. This membrane is covered with a layer of those calcium carbonate crystals (shown at top). Each hair cell forms a synapse with a sensitive neuron (in yellow) and a motor neuron (in green) of the vestibular branch of the auditory nerve. This allows us essentially to hear, but also, again, to find balance.

[RESEARCH] Deafness cured in mice after drug regenerates hair cells

When our bodies are subjected to a sharp acceleration rise, like during a roller coaster ride, the large inertia causes the otolithic membrane and the subsequent otoliths to slide backward, moving the corresponding stereocilia and kinocilia along with them. This in turn stimulates the vestibular nerve, enabling us to recognize movement even when we’re blindfolded.

Boy born without ears has a pair made from his ribs

Nine-year-old Kieran Sorkin was born without ears, but now, doctors made him a pair of ears from his own ribs.

Kieran suffered from a rare condition in which his ears didn’t fully form – he had just small lobes where his ears should have been. He was almost deaf, but thanks to several previous procedures, his hearing slowly started to function, especially when using a hearing aid. Now, this surgery was mostly cosmetic, but it was a spectacular one.

“I’ve always wanted big ears, and now I’m finally going to have them.”, he said. Following the procedure his parents helped him to take a photograph of his newly crafted ear, or a “side selfie”.

His parents were extremely excited about the results, saying that they were “on cloud nine” after the procedure.

“We could not have wished for a better result,” Sorkin said.

Medics, led by Neil Bulstrode, GOSH consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon harvested the rib cartilage from both sides of Kieran’s chest and then carved and shaped it into frameworks for Kieran’s ears. They used his parents to serve as an “ear template”, making his new ears as close as possible to what his natural ones would had been. They then grafted the ears on to Kieran’s head under pockets of skin and used a vacuum to shape them.

“Bilateral reconstructions are sometimes done one at a time, but for Kieran we have created both of his new ears at the same time,” Bulstrode said. “This allows us to ensure the ears are balanced and achieve the best result. It’s a major operation but it brings a significant improvement in quality of life for children with microtia. Their confidence improves exponentially and their performance at school improves,” he said. “If you can improve a young person’s confidence, you can alter their whole trajectory in life.”

Kieran will have another surgery after 6 months, to fix things, but if everything works out fine, then he won’t need any additional procedures.

3D printer ear looks and works just like the real one

3D printing is like a piece of future in the present – the number and extent of applications are just staggering. Recently, researchers from Cornell University have reated an artificial ear using 3-D printing and injectable molds that works pretty much just like the real thing.

3d printing ear

In a study published in PLOS One, Cornell bioengineers and physicians described how using 3-D printing and injectable gels, they created ears that are practically identical to a human ones.

“This is such a win-win for both medicine and basic science, demonstrating what we can achieve when we work together,” said co-lead author Lawrence Bonassar, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

This novel technology may be the solution reconstructive surgeons have long wished for to help children born with ear deformity or people who suffered major accidents. Dr. Jason Spector, director of the Laboratory for Bioregenerative Medicine and Surgery and associate professor of plastic surgery at Weill Cornell in New York City explained:

“A bioengineered ear replacement like this would also help individuals who have lost part or all of their external ear in an accident or from cancer,” Spector said.

To make the ears, they initially started out with a digitized 3-D image of a human subject’s ear, and converted the image into a digitized “solid” ear using a 3-D printer to assemble a mold; this is pretty much the standard technique with any 3D printing project.

Then, they high-density gel is similar to the consistency of Jell-o when the mold is removed. The collagen served as a scaffold upon which cartilage could grow. The process was really fast.

“It takes half a day to design the mold, a day or so to print it, 30 minutes to inject the gel, and we can remove the ear 15 minutes later. We trim the ear and then let it culture for several days in nourishing cell culture media before it is implanted.”

Spector and Bonassar have been collaborating on bioengineered human replacement parts since 2007, working specifically on replacing body parts.

“Using human cells, specifically those from the same patient, would reduce any possibility of rejection,” Spector said.

He added that the best time to place this will be on children, when they are approximately 6 years old.

Medical devices powered by your ear

Your ear is a fascinating place – seriously, that’s not some psychotic pick up line. Deep in the inner ear of mammals lies a natural battery, a place filled with ions that produces an electrical potential which drives your neural impulses. Now, a team of researchers have shown this battery can power a device without impairing hearing or creating any other problem.

The team suggested devices which could monitor the biological activity in the ear or provide hearing benefits for the impaired. In the experiments, biologists and physicists from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) implanted electrodes in these biological batteries of guinea pigs. Attached to the electrons there were low-power electronic devices which monitored the chemical activity inside the ear. After the devices were implanted, the guinea pigs suffered no hear issues whatsoever, and the devices were able to transmit information via wi-fi.

“In the past, people have thought that the space where the high potential is located is inaccessible for implantable devices, because potentially it’s very dangerous if you encroach on it,” Stankovic says. “We have known for 60 years that this battery exists and that it’s really important for normal hearing, but nobody has attempted to use this battery to power useful electronics.”

Indeed, altering how this extremely effective mechanism works could be devastating. The ear converts sounds (via the vibration of the air drum) into an electrochemical signal that can be processed by the brain. This biological battery is the source of the current.

Cliff Megerian, chairman of the otolaryngology department at Case Western Reserve University sees great potential in this research and believes it could tackle 3 issues: cochlear implants, diagnostics and implantable hearing aids.

“The fact that you can generate the power for a low voltage from the cochlea itself raises the possibility of using that as a power source to drive a cochlear implant,” Megerian says. “Imagine if we were able to measure that voltage in various disease states. There would potentially be a diagnostic algorithm for aberrations in that electrical output. I’m not ready to say that the present iteration of this technology is ready,” Megerian cautions. But he adds that, “If we could tap into the natural power source of the cochlea, it could potentially be a driver behind the amplification technology of the future.”

The research was published in Nature Biology

Loud Music - Helps Your Brian Develop

Loud Music Can Stimulate Your Brain

Loud Music - Helps Your Brian Develop

Loud Music – Helps Your Brian Develop

 Music is LIFE

Music makes the world go round, but in recent years youngsters have been warned about listening to too much music at high volumes, advising that it may cause hearing loss in later life.

Contrary to this, research in the last few years into the positive reactions of listening to loud music has taken place, and offers an interesting flip-side to the debate.

Musical Beats & The Sacculus

Sacculus and MUSIC !!!

Manchester University conducted a particular study, and stated that listening to loud music stimulates part of the ear known as the sacculus, which responds in particular to musical beats. This pleasures the brain and makes you feel good during and after listening.

The sacculus seems only sensitive to very loud volumes – above 90 decibels, but is not thought to have any actual hearing function.

Neil Todd is an expert in the study of scientific music, and he stated that the sacculus seems to be part of a primitive hearing function that humans used to have, but has since been made redundant as we have evolved.

Psychologist Stuart Cadwallar headed a study in 2007 of over a thousand of the brightest students in England, and found that listening to music actually helped them alleviate the stress and pressure of academic studies and exam revising. The same people were more likely to frequent concerts and gigs of their favourite artists and bands. So remember this the next time your teenage daughter asks you for One Direction tickets or Justin Bieber Tickets loud concerts may well be helping developed there brain and be an aid to good studying. There you have it Pop Stars can actually be a good things, and be beneficial to your child academic studies.

Plants and Music

Plants Love Rock Music – FACT

It’s not just humans that get pleasure from blaring music, as it seems that plants can also display a beneficial reaction to music – heavy metal in particular!

A 2003 study from the National University of Singapore found that kidney bean seeds exposed to the music grew 60% faster than a control group. Further studies also found that plants grew taller and leafier when positioned near sources of loud music.

Loud but not Deafening

Of course you can go to far with volume an American mother recently tried to sue Canadian pop star Justin Bieber after she attended one his concerts, and suffered hearing loss as a result. Stacey Wilson Betts said she now suffers from tinnitus as a result of being exposed to high volumes and deafening screams at the concert, stating that the gondola she was standing in: acted as a sound conductor, creating a sound blast that permanently damaged both of my ears.” 

It would seem that moderation is the key loud music can stimulate and bring about a greater alertness and mental awareness but don’t go so loud that your ear drums will burst!

The Smell of Sound – how nasal stem cells treatment can prevent hearing loss

A research published earlier today in Stem Cells relates how stem cells scientists in Australia have managed to show that patients suffering from hearing disorders emerged during childhood could benefit from a stem cells procedure collected from one’s nose.

The research focused on early-onset sensorineural hearing loss, which is caused by a loss of sensory cells or neurons in the cochlea,  the part of the inner ear that holds the actual sensory organ of hearing. The condition can have genetic causes, often arising during infancy and childhood, hindering cognitive development and leading to speech and language problems.

“One of the challenges in tackling this condition is that the regenerative ability of the human cochlea is severely limited”, said lead author Dr. Sharon Oleskevich from the Hearing Research Group at The University of New South Wales. “It has been proposed that the transplantation of cells from other parts of the body could treat, prevent or even reverse hearing loss. The transplanted cells have the potential to repair tissue by replacing damaged cells and enhancing the survival of existing cells, preventing the condition from developing further.”

Research was conducted on mice that showed symptoms of hearing loss – these were injected with mucosa-derived stem cells into the cochlea of mice. Mice were chosen as they exert a similar decline in hearing after infancy, much like humans do.

“The authors have used an interesting type of adult stem cell, related to mesenchymal stem cells, to reduce the extent of hearing loss. Since the cells did not integrate into the cochlea, it is likely that the effects from the adult stem cells were due to the release of factors to preserve function of the endogenous stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to provide factors to keep many types of cells healthy and functioning,” said Jan Nolta, Associate Editor of Stem Cells.

One’s hearing capabilities is measured using an auditory brainstem response assay, which determines the lowest sound level to which the brain responds, known as the hearing threshold. After the stem cell operation, the mice with the transplanted nasal stem cells did better when compared to mice without

“The results demonstrate a significant effect of nasal stem cell transplantations for sensorineural hearing loss,” concluded Oleskevich. “These cells can be obtained easily from the nasal cavity making this transplantation a potential treatment for other human conditions including Parkinson’s disease and cardiac infarction.”