Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Promising drug proves ineffective as treatment for hearing loss

08.10.2003


Researchers have demonstrated that Methotrexate, a promising drug to treat hearing loss in patients with autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED), proved no more effective than placebo in a recently concluded four-year study.



In findings published in the October 8, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a team headed by University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Professor and Chief of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Jeffrey Harris, M.D., also noted that the steroid Prednisione proved very effective in both stabilizing and helping over 57% of the AIED patients regain hearing.

"AIED is a rapidly progressive form of sensorineural hearing loss. If left untreated or treated inadequately, AIED can result in profound deafness," says Harris. "We’ve known for some time that steroids are effective in improving hearing loss in AIED."


However, he noted, the many side effects associated with maintaining prolonged steroid therapy has led to the search for more effective drugs to treat this condition over the long term. And, once the steroids are withdrawn, the hearing loss may reoccur. Methotrexate has been considered a promising drug to treat AIED, due to its long track record as an effective anti-inflammatory, says Harris, improving patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the body’s joints. Since AIED is also an autoimmune condition, Harris says researchers hoped the drug would have the same therapeutic effect.

AIED starts with the rapid appearance of bilateral, fluctuating and progressive, asymmetrical sensorineural hearing loss. Patients show hearing loss and usually tinnitus. Several blood tests are now being tested to identify patients with AIED. Approximately two-thirds of patients exhibit this autoimmune disease in their ears. In the other third, patients may have some of the well-known rheumatic diseases occurring concurrently with the hearing loss.

"In earlier studies where Methotrexate was used to treat AIED, the initial results appeared positive. The current study was designed to determine in a controlled, double-blind fashion if Methotrexate could maintain the hearing improvement achieved initially with Prednisone," Harris says.

The study enrolled 116 patients with AIED, treating each of them with one month of high dose Prednisone. At the end of the first phase, 67 who showed significant hearing improvement were randomized to receive either Methotrexate or placebo. Prednisone was slowly tapered in both groups over a 3-month period while the Methotrexate and placebo doses were increased.

The results showed that Methotrexate was no more effective than the placebo in maintaining the hearing gain achieved with Prednisone. Of the 67 patients who went on to receive Methotrexate or placebo, 61 were disqualified from continuing the study due to further hearing losses.

Of the 116 patients who received the initial high dose steroids, 63% responded to Prednisone in one ear while 37% responded in both ears, and the researchers observed that long-term Prednisone was well tolerated under the close management of the treating physicians involved in this study.

Harris says the results underscore the importance of well-controlled studies to test the efficacy of drugs in the treatment of AIED, adding it also demonstrates the urgent need to discover more effective and lasting treatments for this condition that usually leads to acute deafness.


The study published in JAMA was sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders. Co-authors were Michael H. Weisman, M.D., Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles; Jennifer M. Derebery, M.D., and Ralph A. Nelson, M.D., House Ear Institute, Los Angeles; Mark A. Espeland, PhD, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; Bruce J. Gantz, M.D., University of Iowa, Iowa City; A. Julianna Gulya, M.D., National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Bethesda, MD; Paul E. Hammerschlag, M.D., New York University, NYC; Maureen Hannley, PhD, American Academy of Ototlaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Alexandria, VA; Gordon B. Hughes, M.D., The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, Richard Moscicki, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA; John K. Niparko, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Steven D. Rauch, M.D., Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA; Steven A. Telian, M.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; and Patrick E. Brookhouser, M.D., Boystown National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE.

Jeffree Itrich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>