His hearing was damaged by the crack of too many M16 rifles and artillery explosions. He suspects his hearing also suffered from hunting opossum with rifles as a kid on his grandmother's farm in Tennessee.
Ever since his ears began ringing, Moore has been researching a cure. He's at the forefront of just a small band of such scientists in the country. There's a lot riding on his work.
Half of the soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan exposed to explosive devices suffer from tinnitus. The major cause is exposure to loud noises, which can damage and destroy hair cells of the inner ear. It's the number one war-related disability.
Nearly 400,000 troops collected disability for service-related tinnitus in 2006, which cost $539 million in 2006. The number climbs nearly 20 percent each year. It could hit $1 billion by 2011, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
An additional 12 million Americans have tinnitus severe enough to seek medical attention. In about two million of those cases, patients are so debilitated they can't function normally.
Despite the widespread suffering, there has only been a paltry $3 million allotted for public and private research. As a tinnitus researcher, Moore feels like a cross between Rodney Dangerfield and Sisyphus.
It's been tough to snare research money from the small purse and hard to garner respect for tinnitus. "Ears don't bleed from tinnitus," Moore explained. "It's a hidden problem. It's not obvious and dramatic like a heart attack or cancer -- although it torments its sufferers." Only one out of ten grant proposals he submits each year have been funded.
The research itself is challenging because Moore can't ask mice and rats if their ears are ringing. Now, he's working with zebrafish (yes, they do have ears, which are remarkably similar to humans' ears.) He's been able to cause ringing in their ears -- he thinks -- by exposing them to certain drugs and tracking their erratic swimming on video. Moore then looks at the cells in their ears to see if the electrical firing has increased, an early sign of damage and tinnitus. His early findings show an increased firing.
Then Moore attempts to block this effect with drugs to return the cells to their normal activity. In preliminary research, it appears the drugs he has tested do slow down the increased electrical firing or tinnitus-like behavior of the hair cells in the ear.
Moore is beginning to meet with doctors to discuss launching a clinical trial to test these drugs for patients with tinnitus.
"If these drugs are found to be safe -- and some are already on the market for other uses -- and if they are found to have efficacy in humans, then they might be used to treat an individual's tinnitus," Moore said.
"If the hair cell is not totally damaged -- just beginning to break down, and you administer these drugs, you might be able to prevent it from further damage and interfere with the cells' ability to generate tinnitus," he explained.
Tinnitus finally will begin to get some respect in April when The Department of Defense 2008 Appropriations Bill will open up $50 million in new research funding for tinnitus related to service in the armed forces. Ernest Moore has applied to launch the clinical trial with the drugs he has used with the zebrafish.
ADP-ribosylation on the right track
26.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns
Flavins keep a handy helper in their pocket
25.04.2018 | University of Freiburg
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Medical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Information Technology