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Brain-derived nerve growth factor in the treatment of sensorineural hearing loss


  • Presented at the Triological Society Meeting, Southern and Middle Sections, Bonita Springs, Florida, U.S.A., January 10, 2009.

  • Winner of the First Prize Middle Section Dean M. Lierle Resident Research Award for the 2009 Triological Society Meeting, Southern and Middle Sections. Title: Exploiting the Blood-Labyrinth Barrier in the Treatment of Sensorineural Hearing Loss.



A possible medical treatment for sensorineural hearing loss using brain-derived nerve growth factor (BDNF) was explored. The hypothesis is that direct intracochlear application of BDNF will result in improved hearing.

Study Design:

Animal research study.


Significant hearing loss was created using cisplatin in 11 guinea pigs. One month later, bilateral cochleostomies were performed placing 0.05 μg of BDNF in one cochlea of each animal prior to plugging with connective tissue. The other cochlea served as a control. Auditory brain-stem response (ABR) testing was then carried out for three months at 6,000, 8,000, 12,000, and 24,000 Hz.


ABR thresholds were better in the treated ear for all frequencies. Threshold differences were statistically significantly better two months after treatment (general linear model, repeated measures P = .045).


Intracochlear application of BDNF may prevent hearing loss. Laryngoscope, 2009