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Assessment and Treatment of Blast-Induced Auditory and Vestibular Injuries

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Technical Report,30 May 2016,29 May 2017

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The Geneva Foundation Tacoma United States

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Hearing loss and balance disorders are widespread among OIFOEF veterans as a result of blast-induced damage, yet relatively little is known about the underlying mechanisms of injury. In this project, we are characterizing the effects of blast exposure on auditory and vestibular organs in the inner ear of rodents as well as developing strategies for mitigating or reversing vestibular injury that originates from damage to mechanosensory hair cells. Using a compression driven shock tube, we seek to 1 determine whether exposure to a single blast, repeated blasts, or blunt head trauma or blast in combination with blunt head trauma causes deficits in vestibular function that are matched by damage to the vestibular organs within the mouse inner ear, 2 determine whether functional and morphological changes within the auditory organs of the mouse inner ear differ after exposure to single blast, repeated blasts, blunt head trauma or blast in combination with blunt head trauma, 3 determine the cell-type-specific changes in gene expression that occur within auditory supporting cells and hair cells after repeated blast exposure, and 4 determine whether overexpression of Atoh1, inhibition of Notch signaling, or a combination of the two can induce meaningful hair cell regeneration andor functional recovery in mouse vestibular organs that have been damaged by exposure to different blast profiles.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research

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