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The patented treatment will combat noise and ageing induced deafness
IDINE patents innovative treatments for deafness in the United States
IDINE patents innovative treatments for deafness in the United States
The research group for Neurobiology of Hearing, of the Research Institute for Neurological Disabilities (IDINE) from the University of Castilla-La Mancha(UCLM), has obtained an innovative patent in the USA for treating hearing losses caused by exposure to noise. A second patent, aimed at treating ageing-induced deafness, is in the process of being granted, just as Jose Manuel Juiz, the UCLM chair and director of the research group, has pointed out.

The patented treatment is based on protecting the cells of the inner ear from dying due to excess noise. “The most common cause of acquired deafness” professor Juiz stated, who explained that, in normal conditions, cells for hearing which are similar to neurons, receive sound waves and transform these into bioelectrical signals which travel to the cerebral cortex by complex neuronal circuits, which produces the sound sensation. “Transformation into an electrical signal requires a large amount of energy which is supplied by the cellular metabolism itself, but when there is excessive sound stimulation, as with intense noise, the sensory cells for hearing create large quantities of metabolic waste products, known as free radicals, which alter their structure due to oxidation and prevent them from working”. This, he added, produces a mortal chain of toxic oxidative processes (oxidative stress). “Just like with neurons, the inner ear cells, once dead do not regenerate, so the deafness caused is irreversible”, he said.

The patented treatment, uses a combination of antioxidant and vasodilator substances which, taken orally in adequate doses, act on different biochemical reactions in the toxic oxidation chain, stopping metabolic damage and preventing death. Moreover, the research group has demonstrated that low intensity noises have detrimental effects which accumulate over time to worsen deafness in ageing, and that, with extensive treatment, these harmful effects would be blocked “and ageing-induced deafness would be slower and less deep”.

Professor Juiz also stated that, “although these damage and death mechanisms have been explored for some time, this patent is innovative in its simplicity of administration, its efficiency and the fact that the compound, administered orally, has been scientifically proven to provide protection for hearing”.

The work leading up to this has been carried out by the UCLM group by means of a European project, with the participation of the University of Michigan (USA). The Office for Transference of Research Results (OTRI), which depends on the Vice-chancellorship for Transference and Innovation at the UCLM, has, in collaboration with its counterpart at the University of Michigan, been entrusted with managing it. Due to such collaboration, this patent for the UCLM was obtained in the USA, given that there are restrictions for the patent in European law.

UCLM Communication Office, Albacete, 10th of April 2018

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