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Otoneurology -- Exciting stuff

Timothy C. Hain, MD of Chicago Dizziness and Hearing

Page last modified: January 14, 2015

Hair cell regeneration

In March of 2014, Dr. Hinreich Staecker, at KU in Kansas city, began recruiting patients into an FDA approved clinical trial of an amazing procedure where a bird gene (Math-1; also known as Atoh1, Hath1 and Cath1) uses a retrovirus to genetically reengineer the inner ear, and grow back hair cells. This has the potential to restore "original equipment" in persons with certain types of (common) hearing loss. This technology has already been somewhat successful in mice (Staecker, 2007). Dr. Staecker is looking specifically for people who are both very deaf in both ears as well as have no vestibular function. This is a rare group, but we hope that sufficient subjects can be recruited to move this very important research forward.

Meniere's disease -- more betahistine.

Recent reports regarding Meniere's disease suggests that we are underdosing with our conventional regimen of 16 mg twice/day. For persons not doing well, the goal is now 96 mg/day (in the past, it was as low as 16 mg/day). Lezius and associates including Dr. Strupp (2011) suggested that doses as high as 480 mg were well tolerated in an "observational" study (i.e. a series of cases, without any controls). While this level of evidence is not the highest, it may be worthwhile entertaining higher dosing.

Mal de debarquement syndrome -- treatment with habituation.

Dai et al (2014) reported successful treatment with a variant of motion sickness, Mal de Debarquement, with a 5 day adaptation protocol. We have sent a representative of our practice to learn how to do this treament, and we will be trying it out in MDDs patients in 2015.


Copyright January 14, 2015 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on January 14, 2015