Ear Gel

Positive results in preliminary trial of gel used to treat hearing loss

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Researchers recently completed a preliminary trial of a topical gel intended to treat sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL).

SSHL causes deafness in nearly 40,000 Americans every year, and is normally treated with gluticosteroids. 

The trial - conducted by Takayuki Nakagawa from Kyoto University and his team - tested insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) on 25 patients. These patients had cases of SSHL that did not respond to the systemic gluticosteroid treatment. "Although systemic glucocorticoid application results in hearing recovery in some patients with SSHL," says Nakagawa, "approximately 20 percent show no recovery." Consequently, the preliminary trial's positive results show hope for a new treatment.

After 12 weeks of treatment using the gel, 48 percent of patients exhibited improvements in their hearing. After 24 weeks, 56 percent of patients showed hearing improvement. Speaking about his results, Nakagawa says, "The topical IGF1 application using gelatin hydrogels was safe, and had equivalent or superior efficiency to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy that was used as a historical control; this suggests that the efficacy of topical IGF1 application should be further evaluated using randomized clinical trials."

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 28, 2010
Last Updated:
November 29, 2010