Monthly Archives: April 2010

Efficacy of laser occlusion of posterior semicircular canal for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: case report

Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first report in the world literature of a patient with refractory benign paroxysmal positional vertigo being treated with laser occlusion of the posterior semicircular canal. This method had long-term effectiveness, and may be one of the most effective methods of treating patients with refractory benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology


Test-retest tinnitus characteristics in patients with noise-induced hearing loss

Subjective testing of pitch and loudness of tinnitus secondary to NIHL is accurate and reproducible, making it a valuable tool for diagnosis and follow-up. The lack of differences between patients with unilateral or bilateral tinnitus indicates that both types may be managed in a similar manner.

from American Journal of Otolaryngology

Cochlear dysfunction in hyperuricemia: otoacoustic emission analysis

These data suggest that subclinical changes in cochlear function are associated with hyperuricemia. They support the usefulness of otoacoustic emissions in early detection of cochlear dysfunction. It is possible that hyperuricemia could be accompanied by increased stiffness and/or compromise of blood supply of the outer hair cells, which will impair their electromotile response.

from American Journal of Otolaryngology

Study: Roller coasters linked to common ear injury

The sharp turns, ups and downs, and high speeds of today’s roller coasters bring a lot of thrills, but if you’re not careful, the ride could also cause damage to your ears, say physicians at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.


Developing Test For Swallowing Disorder Treatments Could Lead To Treatment For Lou Gehrig’s Patients

Muscle degeneration and confinement to a wheelchair are the hallmarks of Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, muscular dystrophy and other neurodegenerative diseases. One of the silent, and most serious, symptoms of these diseases is losing the ability to swallow. Swallowing impairment, or dysphagia, affects about 500,000 people annually in the U.S., but little is known about the disorder and only a few temporary, behavioral treatments are available. Now, a University of Missouri researcher is developing a test that might help pinpoint the neurological or physiological origins of swallowing disorders, leading to possible life-saving treatments.

from Medical News

How the Brain Thinks in Autism: Implications for Language Intervention

Higher-order cognitive abilities or those that require integrative processing are disproportionately impaired in ASD. Affected abilities occur across the cognitive domains and include complex sensory, motor, memory, and language skills as well as concept formation (Minshew et al., 1997; Williams et al., 2006a). Even in the visuospatial domain, integrative skills such as face recognition may be affected (Behrmann, Thomas, & Humphreys, 2006).

from the ASHA Leader

Performers of Classical Music Can Suffer from Hearing Problems, Too

Musicians have hearing problems caused by prolonged exposure to sound. This also applies to performers of classical music, who are exposed to high sound levels. Hearing problems also affect the musicians’ experience of their working environment. Stress and experiencing the working environment as noisy are associated with hearing problems. Although musicians are worried about their hearing, the use of hearing protectors is rare.


Sign language study shows multiple brain regions wired for language

A new study from the University of Rochester finds that there is no single advanced area of the human brain that gives it language capabilities above and beyond those of any other animal species.

Instead, humans rely on several regions of the brain, each designed to accomplish different primitive tasks, in order to make sense of a sentence. Depending on the type of grammar used in forming a given sentence, the brain will activate a certain set of regions to process it, like a carpenter digging through a toolbox to pick a group of tools to accomplish the various basic components that comprise a complex task.


For Children With Hearing Loss: The Earlier the Better for Cochlear Implants, Study Finds

Receiving a cochlear implant before 18 months of age dramatically improves a deaf child’s ability to hear, understand and, eventually, speak, according to a multicenter study led by scientists at Johns Hopkins.


Critical Care Outcomes Tied to Insurance Status, Systematic Review Finds

Among the general U.S. population, people who are uninsured are about half as likely to receive critical care services as those with insurance, according to systematic review of the literature by the American Thoracic Society’s Health Disparities Group.


Poor Quality Teachers May Prevent Children from Reaching Reading Potential, Study Finds

When it comes to early reading, a bad teacher can prevent children from reaching their full potential.


Hospitals use surgical robot for head and neck tumors

Hospitals are beginning to use a surgical robot for head and neck tumors.

On Dec. 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the da Vinci Surgical System® for benign and malignant tumors in such locations as the tongue, tonsils, mouth and voice box.


IRIDEX commences commercial shipment of IQ 532 laser systems

IRIDEX Corporation, (Nasdaq: IRIX) today announced the commencement of commercial shipment of the IQ 532 laser systems. The IQ 532 is a high-power, 532 nm, dual port multi-purpose laser system for use by ophthalmologists to treat sight-threatening eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma; and for use by otolaryngologists to correct certain types of conductive hearing loss


The mechanisms underlying the interhemispheric integration of information in foveal word recognition: Evidence for transcortical inhibition

Words are processed as units. This is not as evident as it seems, given the division of the human cerebral cortex in two hemispheres and the partial decussation of the optic tract. In two experiments, we investigated what underlies the unity of foveally presented words: A bilateral projection of visual input in foveal vision, or interhemispheric inhibition and integration as proposed by the SERIOL model of visual word recognition. Experiment 1 made use of pairs of words and nonwords with a length of four letters each. Participants had to name the word and ignore the nonword. The visual field in which the word was presented and the distance between the word and the nonword were manipulated. The results showed that the typical right visual field advantage was observed only when the word and the nonword were clearly separated. When the distance between them became smaller, the right visual field advantage turned into a left visual field advantage, in line with the interhemispheric inhibition mechanism postulated by the SERIOL model. Experiment 2, using 5-letters stimuli, confirmed that this result was not due to the eccentricity of the word relative to the fixation location but to the distance between the word and the nonword.

from Brain and Language

Characteristics of tinnitus with or without hearing loss: Clinical observations in Sicilian tinnitus patients

This work, according to literature data, suggests that the hearing status and the elderly represent the principal tinnitus related factors; moreover tinnitus characteristics differ in the two groups for tinnitus pitch. There is, in fact, a statistically significant association between high-pitched tinnitus and high-frequency SNHL suggesting that the auditory pathway reorganization induced by hearing loss could be one of the main source of the tinnitus sensation.

from Auris Nasus Larynx