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Innovative noise reduction technology SEDA helps tackle babble signals from cochlear implants

Innovative noise reduction technology SEDA helps tackle babble signals from cochlear implants

Wearers of cochlear implants and hearing aids often have difficulty teasing out what someone is saying over "babble" -- the cacophony of other talkers -- and other ambient sounds. New York University researchers have devised a novel solution: an algorithmic approach that, like making drinkable water from pond water, distills the talker's voice from a turbid wash of noise. [More]
First small molecule targeted therapy holds promise for Usher syndrome

First small molecule targeted therapy holds promise for Usher syndrome

Usher syndrome (USH) is characterized by hearing loss or deafness at birth and progressive vision loss, and is the most common cause of inherited dual sensory deficit. No treatment is currently available to stop or slow the progression of vision or hearing loss in USH3, one of three clinical classifications for USH that are further divided into subtypes and all associated with different genes. [More]
Hearing aid use improves cognitive function in hearing-impaired older adults

Hearing aid use improves cognitive function in hearing-impaired older adults

A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center found that older adults who used a hearing aid performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who did not use a hearing aid, despite having poorer hearing. The study was published online in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. [More]
Newly developed smartphone application may potentially benefit low-vision users

Newly developed smartphone application may potentially benefit low-vision users

Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have developed a smartphone application that projects a magnified smartphone screen to Google Glass, which users can navigate using head movements to view a corresponding portion of the magnified screen. They have shown that the technology can potentially benefit low-vision users, many of whom find the smartphone's built-in zoom feature to be difficult to use due to the loss of context. Their results are published online in the journal IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. [More]
Drugs that block NOTCH signaling in many cancers could be effective against ACC

Drugs that block NOTCH signaling in many cancers could be effective against ACC

Using a novel cell culture approach, Yale Cancer Center researchers have discovered critical vulnerabilities in adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), a rare and lethal glandular cancer with a high recurrence rate and few treatment options. [More]
Investigators find tacrolimus to be very effective in reducing ocular symptoms of GVHD

Investigators find tacrolimus to be very effective in reducing ocular symptoms of GVHD

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have conducted a clinical trial comparing the safety and efficacy of topical tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive therapy, and topical methylprednisolone, a steroid medication, in patients with ocular graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) -- a complication associated with allogeneic bone marrow transplants in which the transplanted immune system's cells attack certain parts of the recipient's body, including the cornea and ocular surface. [More]
Research suggests new pathway for preventing optic nerve damage in KPro recipients

Research suggests new pathway for preventing optic nerve damage in KPro recipients

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have identified inflammatory factors that cause optic neuropathy in the back of the eye following implantation of a keratoprosthesis (KPro) — similar to what glaucoma patients experience, without the rise of pressure in the eye — and have shown that blocking one of those factors, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), successfully halts the development of optic nerve damage in a mouse model. [More]
Transcranial direct current stimulation can allow faster comprehension of meaningful word combinations

Transcranial direct current stimulation can allow faster comprehension of meaningful word combinations

How the human brain processes the words we hear and constructs complex concepts is still somewhat of a mystery to the neuroscience community. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can alter our language processing, allowing for faster comprehension of meaningful word combinations, according to new research from the department of Neurology the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The work is published in the Journal of Neuroscience. [More]
3-D replica of teen’s skull helps surgeons remove rare, aggressive tumor

3-D replica of teen’s skull helps surgeons remove rare, aggressive tumor

What started as a stuffy-nose and mild cold symptoms for 15-year-old Parker Turchan led to a far more serious diagnosis: a rare type of tumor in his nose and sinuses that extended through his skull near his brain. [More]
Novel method uses light-activated nanodrug to help fight antibiotic-resistant infections

Novel method uses light-activated nanodrug to help fight antibiotic-resistant infections

A research team led by University of Arkansas chemist Jingyi Chen and University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences microbiologist Mark Smeltzer has developed an alternative therapeutic approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant infections. [More]
Researchers design more effective version of FDA-approved epilepsy drug with fewer side effects

Researchers design more effective version of FDA-approved epilepsy drug with fewer side effects

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Arts & Sciences have designed a more effective version of an FDA-approved epilepsy drug with the potential for fewer side effects, according to a study published on March 22 in Molecular Pharmacology. The experimental agent also could prove to be a treatment for tinnitus and other disorders caused by volatile neural signaling. [More]
Anticancer drug restores hearing in neurofibromatosis patients

Anticancer drug restores hearing in neurofibromatosis patients

In a small clinical study with an anticancer drug that halts blood vessel growth, a handful of people with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) and hearing loss had restoration of hearing. [More]
Enhanced diet helps slow progression of hereditary deafness

Enhanced diet helps slow progression of hereditary deafness

An enhanced diet helped reduce hearing loss in mice with the genetic mutation most commonly responsible for childhood deafness, new research suggests. [More]
Researchers reveal link between mitochondrial dysfunction and Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

Researchers reveal link between mitochondrial dysfunction and Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

Researchers at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear have shown a link between mitochondrial dysfunction in corneal endothelial cells and the development of Fuchs' Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy. [More]
DEK gene present in plasma can help predict outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer

DEK gene present in plasma can help predict outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered that a human cancer-causing gene, called DEK, can be detected in the plasma of head and neck cancer patients. DEK may help doctors understand how a person's immune system could be used to treat cancer or predict outcomes for patients. [More]
Study: 94% of older adults in the U.S. have at least one sensory deficit

Study: 94% of older adults in the U.S. have at least one sensory deficit

The first study to measure the full spectrum of age-related damage to all five senses found that 94 percent of older adults in the United States have at least one sensory deficit, 38 percent have two, and 28 percent have three, four or five. [More]
Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent in MS patients

Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent in MS patients

Taste deficits appear to be more prevalent among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients than previously reported and correlate with brain lesions left by the debilitating disease, a new study from the University of Pennsylvania's Smell and Taste Center and the department of Radiology found. [More]
Loyola offers multidisciplinary digestive health program

Loyola offers multidisciplinary digestive health program

Loyola University Health System now offers a multidisciplinary digestive health program to treat digestive tract and related medical conditions. Bipan Chand, MD, FACS, FASGE, FASMBS, and Neil Gupta, MD, MPH, are co-directors of the new program. [More]
Scientists identify potential marker for recurring HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer

Scientists identify potential marker for recurring HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer

A look-back analysis of HPV infection antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, say scientists at The Johns Hopkins University. [More]
Brain's natural plasticity could compensate for inner ear damage

Brain's natural plasticity could compensate for inner ear damage

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School have described, for the first time, the adult brain's ability to compensate for a near-complete loss of auditory nerve fibers that link the ear to the brain. The findings, published in the current issue of Neuron, suggest that the brain's natural plasticity can compensate for inner ear damage to bring sound detection abilities back within normal limits; however, it does not recover speech intelligibility. [More]
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