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March 3, 2006

AG Bell Releases Research on Drugs that Cause Deafness

From: AG Bell - USA - Mar 3, 2006

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For Immediate Release

AG Bell Releases Research on Drugs that Cause Deafness
Authors Address Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity and Strategies for Prevention

Washington, D.C., March 3, 2006 – Aminoglycoside antibiotics are commonly prescribed to treat a wide range of life-threatening bacterial infections, particularly in children and premature babies. However, they are also a well-known and major cause of acquired deafness. A review of recent research published in the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) The Volta Review unites authors from diverse specialties, such as audiology, genetics, physiology and toxicology, to explain how these drugs work and why they are used in clinical settings despite their potentially severe side effects. Authors also address emerging strategies for preventing aminoglycoside-induced deafness, which can dramatically hinder a growing child’s ability to learn to listen and talk and cost more than $417,000 for therapy, rehabilitation and education over a person’s lifetime.

Peter Steyger, Ph.D., associate professor of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the Oregon Hearing Research Center, served as guest editor for the issue. Steyger’s own research in auditory neuroscience is driven in part by his personal experience with aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss following cerebral meningitis and subsequent treatment with streptomycin when he was 14 months old.

“Aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss is a preventable cause of deafness, and the research conducted by Dr. Steyger and his colleagues now offers clearly defined strategies for addressing this critical issue,” said K. Todd Houston, Ph.D., Executive Director/CEO of AG Bell. “AG Bell hopes that increasing awareness of aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss will reduce indiscriminate use of ototoxic drugs, and encourage additional research to eliminate the potential for these essential drugs to damage hearing and delay speech and language development.”

Topics covered by contributing researchers include:

· Gentamicin in the Clinical Setting, De-Ann M. Pillers, M.D., Ph.D., and Mark R. Schleiss, M.D.
· Prevalence of Mitochondrial 12S rRNA Mutations Associated with Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity, Min-Xin Guan, Ph.D.
· Audiological Management of Patients Receiving Aminoglycoside Antibiotics, Dawn Konrad-Martin, Ph.D., Debra J. Wilmington, Ph.D., Jane S. Gordon, M.S., Kelly M. Reavis, M.S., and Stephan A Fausti, Ph.D.
· Vestibulotoxicity and Management of Vestibular Disorders, John P. Carey, M.D.
· Pharmacokinetics of Drug Entry into Cochlear Fluids, Alec N. Salt, Ph.D.
· Cellular Uptake of Aminoglycosides, Peter S. Steyger, Ph.D.
· Physiological and Molecular Pathology of Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity, Su-Hua Sha, M.D.
· Molecular Responses of the Spiral Ganglion to Aminoglycosides, Carey D. Balaban, Ph.D.
· Mechanisms of Aminoglycoside-Induced Hair Cell Death, Dominic A. Mangiardi and Douglas A. Cotanche, Ph.D.
· Prevention of Aminoglycoside Ototoxicity: From the Laboratory to the Clinic, Andra E. Talaska, B.S., and Jochen Schacht, Ph.D.
· High-Throughput Screening of Ototoxic and Otoprotective Pharmacological Drugs, Federico Kalinec, Ph.D.
· Review of Cellular Changes in the Cochlea Due to Aminoglycoside Antibiotics, Dalian Ding, M.S., and Richard Salvi, Ph.D.

The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a lifelong resource, support network, and advocate for listening, learning, talking and living independently with hearing loss. Through publications, advocacy, training, scholarships and financial aid, AG Bell promotes the use of spoken language and hearing technology. Headquartered in Washington, DC with chapters located in the United States and Canada and a network of international affiliates, AG Bell's global presence provides its members and the public with the support they need – close to home. With over a century of service, AG Bell supports its mission: Advocating Independence through Listening and Talking!



Jessica Ripper
Senior Director of Marketing and Communication
AG Bell
Phone: (202) 337-5220 ext. 123
Fax: (202) 337-8314