News Article | November 14, 2016
TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Nov. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ENT and Allergy Associates (ENTA) recognizes that as the populations of the communities surrounding its 40 offices in New York and New Jersey continue to expand, so must the ear, nose, throat, allergy, audiology and related sub-specialty practice's capacity to provide for that population's healthcare needs. So whenever and wherever possible, ENTA either expands and upgrades existing offices, merges smaller existing practices to create spacious new state-of-the-art clinical sites, or opens entirely new offices. In this way, its 180 board certified physicians can continue to deliver superior care to all deserving adult and pediatric patients, and improve upon the comfort and convenience each patient is able to experience at ENTA offices. Today ENTA proudly announced the latest move it is undertaking in the best interests of its 80,000 monthly patients, this time extending its commitment to the people of Westchester County by significantly expanding its full service, leading edge clinical facility in Yorktown Heights, New York. The Practice plans to move its existing Yorktown space (2649 Strang Blvd., Suite 206, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598) to a brand new clinical office located at 2651 Strang Blvd, Suite 110 on the first floor. This will result in a roomy new 8,700 square foot clinical facility, to be generously equipped with 12 ENT exam rooms, a procedure room, 2 audiology booths, a hearing aid dispensing room, and 4 allergy rooms. The move is expected to be completed by May 2017. The entire current Yorktown physician roster (including Michael Bergstein, M.D., Scott R. Messenger, M.D., George Pazos, M.D., Debra S. Reich, M.D. and allergist/immunologist John County, M.D., F.A.A.A.A.I.) will remain in place, and Gary Fishman, M.D. will join the roster of physicians in the coming year. Like all 40 ENTA offices serving neighborhoods throughout New York and New Jersey, the new Yorktown location will offer adult and pediatric patients a comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach to healthcare featuring board certified otolaryngology specialists, sub-specialists and allergists treating issues related to Sinus, Throat, Allergy, Otology, Rhinology, Audiology, and Head and Neck Surgery, sleep and facial plastics, as well as licensed audiologists to examine, evaluate and dispense hearing amplification devices. George Pazos, M.D., Otolaryngologist and physician partner at ENTA's Yorktown office, noted, "This expanded, renovated and improved facility is a perfect example of ENTA's focus on its patients' healthcare needs and the quality of their physician office experience." He continued, "Beyond superb clinical facilities, this new space means more comfort and convenience for everyone, which we believe is critically important." Robert Glazer, CEO of ENTA added, "We at ENTA have always done everything in our power to ensure that each of our patients receive the best-in-class medical care they deserve. By continuing to upgrade our facilities whenever possible, we believe we are helping to optimize the patient experience as well." To learn more about the benefits of ENT and Allergy Associates, find the office near you or book an appointment, please visit www.entandallergy.com or call 1-855-ENTA-DOC. About ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP: ENT and Allergy has over 180 physicians practicing in 40+ office locations in Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York City and northern/central New Jersey. The practice sees over 80,000 patients per month. Each ENT and Allergy Associates clinical location provides access to a full complement of services, including General Adult and Pediatric ENT and Allergy, Voice and Swallowing, Advanced Sinus and Skull Base Surgery, Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, Disorders of the Inner Ear and Dizziness, Asthma, Clinical Immunology, Diagnostic Audiology, Hearing Aid dispensing, Sleep and CT Services. ENTA has a clinical alliance with The Mount Sinai Hospital for the treatment of diseases of the head and neck and esophageal cancer, a clinical alliance with the Montefiore Medical Center for the tertiary treatment of pediatric patients in New York City and the Hudson Valley, a clinical alliance with the Northwell Health for the tertiary treatment of pediatric patients in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties and a partnership with the American Cancer Society to educate and treat patients with smoking disorders and cancer. The Practice has also expanded its clinical capabilities to include advanced Immunodeficiency trials. ENT and Allergy Associates Management and Marketing teams have been recognized numerous times with awards and accolades including Health Leaders Media 2011 Top Leadership Team in Healthcare, Top Doctor Awards, ACS recognition award, AHAA Audiologist awards, The Westchester County Association Big W Awards and the Healthcare Marketing Report Healthcare Advertising Awards. Visit www.entandallergy.com for more information. A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=41873
News Article | March 3, 2017
SEJONG, SOUTH KOREA, March 03, 2017-- Dr. Sunho B. Chang has been included in Marquis Who's Who. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.Backed by many years of practiced industry experience in the field of otolaryngology, Dr. Chang currently serves as the chairman and chief executive officer of Danyoung Laboratories Inc., and director of King Sejong ORL-HNS Clinic. He started his career in the ROK Army as a medical officer for the Gyeonggi-do Medical Center PAJU Hospital and Sorokdo National Hospital. That background propelled him to become a clinic professor at Soonchunhyang University Hospital and Korea University Anam Hospital, where he worked for a number of years.An alumnus of Soonchunhyang University, Dr. Chang holds a Bachelor and Master of Medical Science, an MD, and a Ph.D. His doctoral research focused on gene profiles in tonsillar squamous carcinoma by microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization. Notably, he has also taken courses in endoscopic surgery of the sinuses, Eustachian tube and ear, healthcare and medical policies, and disaster relief. Dr. Chang's professional affiliations include the Sejong and Korean Medical Associations, the Korean National Tuberculosis Association, the Seoul Medical Association, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.Along with other scholars, Dr. Chang has contributed his extensive knowledge to publications on such topics as allergic rhinitis classification (DANYOUNG classification), highly pathogenic infectious diseases (especially H1N1 Influenza Type A virus), Eolsorilogy (DANYOUNG HUNMINJEONGEUM, Korean language research), as well as many others. Throughout his career, Dr. Chang has been recognized for his professional accomplishments with the Good Conduct Award from the Korean Medical Association, an Appreciation plaque from the National Health Insurance Service, a Letter of Appreciation from the city mayor of San Pedro, Laguna, Philippines, a Letter of Commendation from the city mayor of Seoul Metropolitan government, Korea, Republic of, and Shimmian Research Award, as well as many others.About Marquis Who's Who :Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the First Edition of Who's Who in America , Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com
News Article | February 15, 2017
Dr. Benjamin Stong of Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC in Atlanta was recently recognized by Find Local Doctors as a Top Patient Rated Facial Plastic Surgeon for 2017. This honor is one of numerous awards and achievements that Dr. Stong has earned as a leading facial plastic surgeon in Atlanta. Find Local Doctors is an online directory that helps consumers find the most qualified and reputable physicians in their area. The Top Patient Rated Plastic Surgeon award is an acknowledgement that Dr. Stong has garnered five star ratings and excellent online reviews from his patients across multiple sources. His patients posted impressive remarks about their positive experience at Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery as well as their natural-looking and youthful results in advanced cosmetic procedures. Dr. Stong is dual board certified in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). These distinguished credentials means that he brings the highest level of specialization, education, and certification in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. Dr. Stong has earned a strong reputation for his advanced techniques in facelifts, rhinoplasty and blepharoplasty. He also offers an expansive menu of non-surgical services in facial rejuvenation, ranging from bruise-free facial fillers and microneedling to laser treatments and highly advanced stem-cell facelifts. Dr. Stong offers his services in a state-of-the-art facility in Atlanta, where patient-centered care is paramount. Dr. Stong is committed to creating the most natural and balanced results by using innovative and proven techniques in plastic surgery. His methods include ways to improve patient comfort, minimize downtime and promote longer lasting results. He is one of the few plastic surgeons in the country to offer the deep plane facelift and the first in Atlanta to offer the extended deep plane facelift. With this facelift technique, patients can benefit from faster recovery time and the most natural-looking improvements within the neck, jawline and cheeks. “My success as a plastic surgeon is always determined by the satisfaction of my patients. Knowing my patients are pleased with their aesthetic results is the highest honor I could receive,” says Dr. Stong. Owner and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Stong is dual board certified in Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He completed his fellowship under one of the most nationally renowned plastic surgeons, Dr. Andrew Jacono in New York. He combines his reputable level of training with his own proven experience and talent to bring patients of Atlanta outstanding results in plastic surgery. Among his previous achievements are his consecutive wins as a "Top Doctor" by Castle Connolly. This is a highly respected recognition that is based on peer nomination and extensive review. Kalos Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery specializes in providing the most advanced techniques in facial plastic surgery and other cosmetic services. If you would like to get more information about the services offered by Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery, LLC, please call their Atlanta office at (404) 963-6665 or visit their website at kalos-plasticsurgery.com.
News Article | October 28, 2016
Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa, PLLC (“Holcomb-Kreithen” or “HKPS” or “the Practice”), a leading plastic surgery practice in Sarasota and Tampa Florida, is pleased to announce that practice co-founder J. David Holcomb, MD has been chosen for inclusion in the highly selective list of Castle Connolly Top Doctors® for 2016 for the specialty of Plastic Surgery (cosmetic and reconstructive facial surgery, and laser surgery). This represents the 3rd consecutive year that Dr. Holcomb has been chosen for the list by Castle Connolly, America’s trusted source for identifying Top Doctors. Castle Connolly Top Doctors are considered prestigious medical leaders in their regions. They are selected by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. after being nominated by peer physicians in an online nomination process. Nominations are open to all board certified MDs and DOs and each year tens of thousands of doctors cast many tens of thousands of nominations. Honorees are selected from the nominees by the Castle Connolly physician-led research team based on criteria including their medical education, training, hospital appointments, disciplinary histories and more. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be included in any Castle Connolly Guide or online directory. Dr. Holcomb is a pioneer and advocate of laser-assisted facial rejuvenation techniques that have helped set a new standard for beautiful, natural results with reduced downtime, less discomfort and lower cost for patients. Commenting on his selection by Castle Connolly, Dr. Holcomb said, “It is truly an honor to receive this award for the third time in a row. I am honored to be recognized among my peers for my efforts to help people attain their aesthetic goals with a commitment to providing an exceptional level of skill and professionalism to all those in my care.” Dr. Holcomb is also a respected expert and published author in medical aesthetic areas including erbium- YAG laser surgery of the skin, fiber laser surgery of the face and neck, and integration of these and other technologies with facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr. Holcomb co-developed the AccuLift™ laser facial contouring procedure, introduced the procedure on CBS’ award-winning television show “The Doctors” and integrated these techniques with aging face surgery (Laser Assisted Facelift) for his patients at HKPS. About Dr. Holcomb Dr. Holcomb has over twenty years of surgical experience and has hospital affiliation with Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Dr. Holcomb completed a surgery internship (Department of Surgery) and residency training (Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery) at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, which is consistently rated among the best in the country by US News and World Report. He then completed a fellowship in advanced cosmetic facial plastic surgery with the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Currently a member of the Florida Medical Association, Dr. Holcomb is a past president of the Sarasota County Medical Society and of the Florida Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has received numerous accolades. The mission of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. is to help consumers find the best healthcare by publishing its list of Castle Connolly Top Doctors® at http://www.castleconnolly.com, as well as within 50+ media partner magazines, newspapers and affiliated websites. All told, more than 47,000+ doctors- approximately 5% of the nation's licensed physicians - have been selected as Castle Connolly Top Doctors in their regions for their specialties. About Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa With their main office located in beautiful downtown Sarasota, and services also available at locations in Lakewood Ranch and Tampa, Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery and H|K MedSpa offers a comprehensive range of aesthetic surgical and non-surgical treatments that enhance the lives of men and women. The founding physicians of the practice include J. David Holcomb, M.D. (Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Laser Surgeon) and Joshua Kreithen, M.D. (Breast and Body Contouring Specialist). The AAAASF-accredited facility includes a private outpatient ambulatory surgical center. Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery is renowned for its expertise in facial plastic surgery, plastic surgery of the breasts and body and cosmetic laser surgery. Additional core areas of focus within H|K MedSpa include non- and minimally-invasive body contouring, facial aesthetics, medical hair restoration, laser skin rejuvenation and medical skin care. With its comprehensive range of services and dedicated staff the practice has developed a reputation as one of the most advanced centers in Florida. Receipt of the Allergan “Black Diamond Award” is an objective benchmark for the practice’ success, ranking it among the top 1% of practices in the entire country providing Botox Cosmetic, Juvederm (including Voluma) injectable gel, Latisse, Natrelle breast implants and SkinMedica skin care. The Holcomb-Kreithen Plastic Surgery and MedSpa staff is comprised of an extraordinary group of professionals whose primary goal is to safely empower individuals to reach their full potential. They are committed to treating patients and each other with kindness, compassion and dignity at all times. For more information, visit http://www.sarasota-med.com
News Article | February 15, 2017
Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Stong of The K Spa in Atlanta is one of few clinicians nationwide to offer a bruise-free injection technique for facial fillers. Patients can expect the same top quality results, with much greater comfort, less swelling and virtually no associated social downtime. Injectable facial fillers, such as Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse, are considered a minimally invasive solution for temporarily treating wrinkles, softening lines, and plumping lips. They are an excellent alternative for patients who do not want to undergo cosmetic surgery to gain a more youthful appearance. Facial fillers are traditionally injected using sharp-tip needles into hallowed or sagging areas of the face or into the lips to add volume. Unfortunately, this needle type and injection approach brings a number of unwanted drawbacks. The sharp needle is prone to tear blood vessels and nerves, which leads to bruising and swelling immediately after the procedure and lasting for several days. Dr. Stong uses an innovative injection technique that can significantly reduce damage to soft tissues as the facial filler is administered. He uses a special blunt-tip cannula instead of a hypodermic needle. Not only does this allow easier access to greater areas of the face through a single port, but it also makes this non-surgical rejuvenation service much less uncomfortable. “The K Spa mission is to provide outstanding results in facial rejuvenation with unrivaled attention to patient comfort and convenience. Our bruise-free facial filler injections are just one way we accomplish that,” says Dr. Stong of The K Spa. Micro-cannula injections can help patients avoid multiple skin pricks to achieve ideal results. It is considered a more accurate and effective technique for hallowed cheeks, vertical lip lines and nasal labial folds. When used for lip augmentation, Dr. Stong can make one small puncture at the corner of the lips instead of several punctures throughout the lip, which is used in traditional methods. Dr. Stong’s state-of-the-art injection technique has produced smooth, natural-looking results without the inconvenience of bruising and social downtime, which is a valued advantage for his patients. More about Dr. Benjamin Stong of The K Spa: Owner and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Stong is dual board certified in Head and Neck Surgery and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He completed his fellowship under one of the most nationally renowned plastic surgeons, Dr. Andrew Jacono in New York. He has combined such an elite level of training with his own proven experience and talent to bring patients ideal results in both plastic surgery and non-surgical facial rejuvenation. The K Spa is a unique patient-centered medical day spa that serves as an extension of Kalos Facial Plastic Surgery in Atlanta. If you would like to get more information about bruise-free facial injectables and fillers or other services offered at The K Spa, please call their Atlanta office at (404) 549-3503 or visit their website at thekspa.com
News Article | February 15, 2017
Dr. Ben Talei of The Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery is a distinguished double-board certified facial plastic surgeon who is known for his dedication to use the most natural and minimally invasive techniques available. His mission is to deliver outstanding results in facial plastic surgery that portray natural beauty as well as provide valued sustainability. His patients have certainly recognized his excellence in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, as they have posted a number of superior reviews and five-star rating across multiple credible online sources. This has led Find Local Doctors to feature Dr. Talei as a 2017 Top Patient Rated Plastic Surgeon for Beverly Hills. Find Local Doctors is an online directory that helps consumers connect with qualified and reputable physicians in their area. Dr. Ben Talei’s plastic and reconstructive surgery practice in Beverly Hills offers a full menu of facial plastic surgery procedures and cosmetic treatments, including advanced facelift procedures, rhinoplasty, eyebrow lifts, non-surgical skin rejuvenation and more. Dr. Talei has pioneered numerous techniques in facial plastic surgery to improve patient experience, recovery and results. These include a lip lift method that offers faster healing and more natural results than past surgical methods as well as an awake and painless deep plane facelift technique that Dr. Talei calls the Auralyft. Dr. Talei is also an industry-leading physician in the field of birthmark removal surgery for babies through adults. He carries remarkable training and expertise, including a dual fellowship training in Facial Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery, Vascular Birthmarks and Congenital Anomalies with Laser Surgery. The practice is committed to approaching patient care with complete transparency, sincerity and honesty. “We judge our success not by how we view our outcomes but by how our patients view their results. Therefore, because this award is based on actual patient reviews it represents a significant achievement for us,” says Dr. Ben Talei of The Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery. The Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery is now serving patients in a new, state-of-the-art facility located at 465 N. Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, CA 90210. About Dr. Ben Talei: A native of California, Dr. Benjamin Talei graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Physiological Sciences. He received his medical degree at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Dr. Talei then went on to complete his residency training in Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia University and Cornell University Medical Centers, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Following his residency program, Dr. Talei became one of the only surgeons in the country to complete two separate fellowships in Facial & Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery including a fellowship at the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York. In addition, Dr. Talei is a respected author, speaker and humanitarian. If you would like to get more information about Dr. Ben Talei or his plastic and reconstructive surgery centers, please visit their website at beverlyhillscenter.com or call (310) 288-0641.
Windfuhr J.P.,Head and Neck Surgery
ORL | Year: 2013
Introduction: Quality assurance in health care involves the evaluation of outcomes, cost-benefit ratios, and access to the delivery system. This literature review was undertaken to clarify the incidence of serious posttonsillectomy complications to better understand the outcome component of quality assurance. Material and Methods: A Medline review was undertaken using the key word 'tonsillectomy' AND each of the following: 'serious', 'complications' and 'review'; 'meta-Analysis', 'Cochrane'; 'life-threatening', 'death' and 'disability'. Results: 454 articles were identified with the following search items in combination with 'tonsillectomy': 'serious' (154), 'complications', 'review' (24), 'meta-Analysis' (38), 'Cochrane' (43), 'life-threatening' (87), 'death' (91), 'disability' (17). Sixty-seven articles described a complication rate and were therefore eligible for review: 22 case reports, 9 case series, 2 questionnaires and 33 studies with a more or less precise complication rate were obtainable. Most articles (n = 30) reported the rate of posttonsillectomy hemorrhage with a considerable range. Fifteen articles reported the incidence of death, which ranged from 1:7,132 to 1:170,000 and almost always resulted from excessive hemorrhage. All other complications were mentioned in case reports. Conclusion: The most common postoperative complication of tonsillectomy is bleeding. However, the incidence varies considerably across studies depending on the study design, follow-up and definition of postoperative bleeding. Other serious adverse events, such as neurological disabilities, emphysema (with or without pneumomediastinum), or vascular problems outside the neck are infrequent. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Baujat B.,Head and Neck Surgery
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2010
Several trials have studied the role of altered fractionation radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, but the effect of such treatment on survival is not clear. The aim of this individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis was to assess whether this type of radiotherapy could improve survival. We searched the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; BIOSIS Previews; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; ISRCTN and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the most recent search was 8 August 2010. We identified randomised trials comparing conventional radiotherapy with hyperfractionated or accelerated radiotherapy, or both, in patients with non-metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and grouped trials into three pre-specified treatment categories: hyperfractionated, accelerated and accelerated with total dose reduction. Trials were eligible if they began recruitment after 1969 and ended before 1998. We obtained updated individual patient data. Overall survival was the main outcome measure. The secondary outcome measures were local or regional control rates (or both), distant control rates and cause-specific mortality. We included 15 trials with 6515 patients. The median follow up was six years. Tumour sites were mostly oropharynx and larynx; 5221 (74%) patients had stage III-IV disease (UICC 2002). There was a significant survival benefit with altered fractionation radiotherapy, corresponding to an absolute benefit of 3.4% at five years (hazard ratio (HR) 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.97; P = 0.003). The benefit was significantly higher with hyperfractionated radiotherapy (8% at five years) than with accelerated radiotherapy (2% with accelerated fractionation without total dose reduction and 1.7% with total dose reduction at five years, P = 0.02). There was a benefit in locoregional control in favour of altered fractionation versus conventional radiotherapy (6.4% at five years; P < 0.0001), which was particularly efficient in reducing local failure, whereas the benefit on nodal control was less pronounced. The benefit was significantly higher in the youngest patients (under 50 year old) (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.94), 0.95 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.09) for 51 to 60 year olds, 0.92 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.06) for 61 to 70 year olds, and 1.08 (95% CI 0.89 to 1.30) for those over 70 years old; test for trends P = 0.007). Altered fractionation radiotherapy improves survival in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Comparison of the different types of altered radiotherapy suggests that hyperfractionation provides the greatest benefit. An update of this IPD meta-analysis (MARCH 2), which will increase the power of this analysis and allow for other comparisons, is currently in progress.
Huber G.F.,Head and Neck Surgery
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery | Year: 2014
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive malignancy. Worldwide incidence is increasing and roughly 50% of patients present with a primary lesion in the head and neck. This article discusses recent advances and treatment recommendations. RECENT FINDINGS: Recent research has focused on the carcinogenesis of MCC, in particular the role of Merkel cell polyoma virus (MCPyV) and its surrogate marker large T-antigen. Together with cytokeratin 20 (CK20), other biomarkers like human insulin gene enhancer-binding protein islet-1 (ISL1) and transcription factor OCT4 may provide improved methods for diagnosis and ultimately, therapy. SUMMARY: This review summarizes recent findings on MCC pathogenesis with a special emphasis on the impact of MCPyV. It further presents an overview of clinical aspects, and discusses treatment standards and emerging perspectives. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
News Article | February 18, 2017
Patients who complain they can't hear their friends at a noisy restaurant, but pass a hearing test in their doctor's office, may be describing hidden hearing loss. Now, less than six years since its initial description, scientists have made great strides in understanding what hidden hearing loss is and what causes it. In research published in Nature Communications, University of Michigan researchers report a new unexpected cause for this auditory neuropathy, a step toward the eventual work to identify treatments. "If people can have hidden hearing loss for different reasons, having the ability to make the right diagnosis of the pathogenesis will be critical," says author Gabriel Corfas, Ph.D., director of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute at Michigan Medicine's Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. Corfas published the research with co-author Guoqiang Wan, now with Nanjing University in China. They discovered using mice that disruption in the Schwann cells that make myelin, which insulates the neuronal axons in the ear, leads to hidden hearing loss. This means hidden hearing loss could be behind auditory deficits seen in acute demyelinating disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can be caused by Zika virus. Corfas and Wan used genetic tools to induce loss of myelin in the auditory nerve of mice, modeling Guillain-Barré. Although the myelin regenerated in a few weeks, the mice developed a permanent hidden hearing loss. Even after the myelin regenerated, damage to a nerve structure called the heminode remained. When the ear is exposed to loud noises over time, synapses connecting hair cells with the neurons in the inner ear are lost. This loss of synapses has previously been shown as a mechanism leading to hidden hearing loss. In an audiologist's quiet testing room, only a few synapses are needed to pick up sounds. But in a noisy environment, the ear must activate specific synapses. If they aren't all there, it's difficult for people to make sense of the noise or words around them. That is hidden hearing loss, Corfas says. "Exposure to noise is increasing in our society, and children are exposing themselves to high levels of noise very early in life," Corfas says. "It's clear that being exposed to high levels of sound might contribute to increases in hidden hearing loss." The newly identified cause -- deficiency in Schwann cells -- could occur in individuals who have already had noise exposure-driven hidden hearing loss as well. "Both forms of hidden hearing loss, noise exposure and loss of myelin, can occur in the same individual for an additive effect," Corfas says. Previously, Corfas' group succeeded in regenerating synapses in mice with hidden hearing loss, providing a path to explore for potential treatment. While continuing this work, Corfas started to investigate other cells in the ear, which led to uncovering the new mechanism. There are no current treatments for hidden hearing loss. But as understanding of the condition improves, the goal is for the research to lead to the development of drugs to treat it. "Our findings should influence the way hidden hearing loss is diagnosed and drive the future of clinical trials searching for a treatment," Corfas says. "The first step is to know whether a person's hidden hearing loss is due to synapse loss or myelin/heminode damage."