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Researchers May Have Discovered a Plan to Disable Meniere's Disease


Senior Member
Personal note: a year after my infection I received the diagnosis of suffering from Meniere's disease. Not the typical, but a form of, because Meniere has many faces, according to the specialist. The test they did was by pricking a needle in the middle-earto measure the pressure of built-up fluid. The test was undoubtedly positive.

Dec. 6, 2013 — Researchers at University of Colorado School of Medicine may have figured out what causes Meniere's disease and how to attack it. According to Carol Foster, MD, from the department of otolaryngology and Robert Breeze, MD, a neurosurgeon, there is a strong association between Meniere's disease and conditions involving temporary low blood flow in the brain such as migraine headaches.

Meniere's affects approximately 3 to 5 million people in the United States. It is a disabling disorder resulting in repeated violent attacks of dizziness, ringing in the ear and hearing loss that can last for hours and can ultimately cause permanent deafness in the affected ear. Up until now, the cause of the attacks has been unknown, with no theory fully explaining the many symptoms and signs of the disorder.

"If our hypothesis is confirmed, treatment of vascular risk factors may allow control of symptoms and result in a decreased need for surgeries that destroy the balance function in order to control the spell" said Foster. "If attacks are controlled, the previously inevitable progression to severe hearing loss may be preventable in some cases."

Foster explains that these attacks can be caused by a combination of two factors: 1) a malformation of the inner ear, endolymphatic hydrops (the inner ear dilated with fluid) and 2) risk factors for vascular disease in the brain, such as migraine, sleep apnea, smoking and atherosclerosis.

The researchers propose that a fluid buildup in part of the inner ear, which is strongly associated with Meniere attacks, indicates the presence of a pressure-regulation problem that acts to cause mild, intermittent decreases of blood flow within the ear. When this is combined with vascular diseases that also lower blood flow to the brain and ear, sudden loss of blood flow similar to transient ischemic attacks (or mini strokes) in the brain can be generated in the inner ear sensory tissues. In young people who have hydrops without vascular disorders, no attacks occur because blood flow continues in spite of these fluctuations. However, in people with vascular diseases, these fluctuations are sufficient to rob the ear of blood flow and the nutrients the blood provides. When the tissues that sense hearing and motion are starved of blood, they stop sending signals to the brain, which sets off the vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss in the disorder.

Restoration of blood flow does not resolve the problem. Scientists believe it triggers a damaging after-effect called the ischemia-reperfusion pathway in the excitable tissues of the ear that silences the ear for several hours, resulting in the prolonged severe vertigo and hearing loss that is characteristic of the disorder. Although most of the tissues recover, each spell results in small areas of damage that over time results in permanent loss of both hearing and balance function in the ear.

Since the first linkage of endolymphatic hydrops and Meniere's disease in 1938, a variety of mechanisms have been proposed to explain the attacks and the progressive deafness, but no answer has explained all aspects of the disorder, and no treatment based on these theories has proven capable of controlling the progression of the disease. This new theory, if proven, would provide many new avenues of treatment for this previously poorly-controlled disorder.

Article link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131206163057.htm

Journal Reference:

  1. Carol Foster, MD and Robert Breeze, MD. The Meniere attack: An ischemia/reperfusion disorder of inner ear sensory tissues. Medical Hypotheses, December 2013

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided byUniversity of Colorado Denver, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
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Senior Member
Thanks for posting this. I started looking around, initially to find out what exactly "ischemia-reperfusion" meant. And, I wanted to find out the connection to migraine listed above. Somehow I stumbled upon a very interesting book called Melatonin: Biological Basis of its Function in Health and Disease. You can get a free pdf copy of it (all 280 pages) HERE

Table of Contents (emphasis mine)

1. Mechanisms Underlying Seasonal Regulation of Melatonin Synthesis in Rodents

2. Oxidative Stress-Mediated Damage during in Vivo Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: Protective Effects of Melatonin

3. Melatonin and the Thyroid Gland

4. The Role of Melatonin in the Develpment of Scoliosis

5. Effect of Melatonin on Life Span and Longevity

6. Cardiovascular Effects of Melatonin

7. Pineal Gland and Cancer--An Epigenetic Approach to the Control of Malignancy: Evaluation of the Role of Melatonin

8. Expression and Signal Transduction Pathways of Melatonin Receptors in the Pituitary

9. The Role of Thermoregulation in the Soporific Effects of Melatonin: A New Perspective

10. The Role of Melatonin in Human Aging and Age-Related Diseases

11. Role of Endogenous and Exogenous Melatonin in Inflammation

12. Heterologous Modulation of Androgen Receptor Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Shuttling by Melatonin: A Novel Mode of Regulating Androgen Sensitivity

13. Extrapineal Melatonin: Location and Role in Pathological Processes

14. Sleep and Melatonin in Diurnal Species

15. The Effect of Different Wavelengths of Light in Changing the Phase of the Melatonin Circadian Rhythm

16. Clinical Utility of the Antioxidant Melatonin in the Newborn

17. Diurnal 5-HT Production and Melatonin Formation

18. Melatonin and Mitochondrial Respiration

19. Melatonin Use As a Bone-Protecting Substance

20. Melatonin, Light and Migraine

21. Melatonin in Protection against Oxidative Damage Caused by Potential Carcinogens

22. Influence of Melatonin on the Health and Diseases of the Retina

23. Melatonin Synchronizes Cell Physiology through Cytoskeletal Rearrangements

24. Melatonin in Winter Depression

25. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome: A Melatonin Onset Disorder

26. Melatonin as an Antidepressant for Treatment of Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome with Comorbid Depression

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Senior Member
Also came across another interesting paper, focusing on migraine, called Efficiency and Safely of Lomerizine Hydrochloride in Preventative Treatment of Migraine Here

Does anyone know anything about this med?


Daughters High School Graduation
Upstate SC, USA
I definitely want to stay in the loop with this research as I have had Meniere's disease for 20 years. I had a really bad episode of it 12 to 13 years ago and I went deaf in my right ear and only got back about 30% of it. I need a hearing aid, but I surely can't afford one of them.