Dr. John on ABC News
Is Inner Ear Regeneration Possible?
Advanced Rejuvenation has been working to put together the most cutting edge therapies for the treatment of inner ear conditions. Currently we are focused on the combination of physical adjustments to the bones of the skull, which also release certain connective tissues surrounding the ear, as well as laser therapy applied to the ear.
More in-depth look at LumoMed for Tinnitus Care.
To understand how these treatments work you need a good understanding of hair cells.
Hair cells in the inner ear are the nerve cells that allow us to perceive sound waves. They are essential for our balance, hearing and proper brain function. Without them we would be deaf and disoriented. If hair cells are damaged in any way, we suffer permanent hearing loss or debilitating balance disorders. We are finding these insufficiencies are also intimately connected to our brain function and can cause issues with proper coordination of the eyes and movement of the body. Since the autonomic nervous system is also wired through these pathways, function of the gut, heart ,liver, kidney and bladder can all suffer from issues from your hair cells. With these little cells being so important, you would think this would be a major area of new medical breakthroughs… but it’s not really compared to other areas of medicine!
What are these hair cells?
Under a microscope, they look as though they have a tiny hair protruding from them so they are called hair cells. Stereocilia are the organ made of hair cells, and they bend in response to sound or other mechanical influence. There are two types: auditory and vestibular. Auditory hair cells, which detect sound, are located in the cochlea of the inner ear. Movements of the stereocilia are transmitted to the brain and interpreted as sound.
Our sense of balance is also made possible through vestibular hair cells. These are located in vestibular organs.
Besides loud noises, ototoxic drugs (drugs which damage the hearing), lyme disease and other bacterial infections, viral infections, and trauma can all damage hair cells.
The good news is that the possibility of hair cell regeneration in mammals has been confirmed! Even Harvard has done studies supporting this technology. See Study here.
Laser therapy might hold the most promise for those suffering from hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders. Several doctors have been working with the application of laser therapy for regeneration of the hair cells in the inner ear. The concept is that by supplying energy in the form of photons into the inner ear, the hair cells can utilize that energy to repair and regenerate themselves. Dr. Amon Kaiser has been working with lasers for more than 20 years, after his father pioneered the methods in the 70’s. (Click here for several video interviews with Dr. Amon Kaiser) It is well known that laser therapy can have an influence on growth factors and stem cell activation. Both stem cells and growth factors have been studied by major medical institutions, and both have shown hair cell regeneration effects. Another aspect of this treatment is a high safety profile, little risk of injury, and results show efficacy in hearing loss, tinnitus and balance in most cases.
Why are manipulations and functional neurology applied to our U.S. based therapy protocols?
There are dense connective tissues that wind, wrap and connect to the inside lining of the cranial bones. These connective tissues are called dura mater (dura) which in Latin mean “tough mother.” “Tough” because it has 2,000 lbs per square inch of strength and “mother” because it acts to protect the very sensitive tissues of your central nervous system. The dura actually becomes the whites of your eyes and is the lining of the sinus as well as into the area around the inner ear. I always like to give the example of a swamp versus a river. Which one is a healthier environment? The river of course, as it has good circulation of nutrients and keeps things clean and free of debris and toxins. Circulation acts to “bring in the groceries and take out the garbage.” Without this, organs and tissues in your body become a breading ground for virus and bacteria, which has been shown to be a major cause of stress and damage to the inner ear. Lymphatics channels the ears as well as most other parts of your body and creates what is called “drainage.” If you have poor drainage you have a swamp and a perfect terrain for microbial growth. On top of this there is poor nutrient delivery of key vitamins, amnio acids and minerals to provide building blocks for proper maintenance and repair of damaged tissue. This is what FCR works on with the specific endo-nasal balloon manipulations to release these tissues and turn the inner ear environment into a river. This can lead to healing and regeneration of the cells and tissues in the inner ear.
Besides this benefit, the combination of the cranial adjustments with the functional neurology have been seen to make significant improvements in cases of hearing loss, tinnitus and balance disorders, which are due to central nervous system causes. (Read my article regarding central causes of tinnitus.) Many times it is impossible for the brain, eyes and muscles of the neck and spine NOT to suffer imbalance. With functional neurology, we have specific ways we activate the nervous system using a variety of modalities based on your exam findings. Many times exercises are prescribed to perform in the office and at home.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)+, a coenzyme involved in redox activities in the mitochondrial electron transport chain, has been identified as a key regulator of the lifespan-extending effects, and the activation of NAD+ expression has been linked with a decrease in beta-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a NAD+ precursor, it promotes peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator 1 (PGC)-1α expression in the brain. Evidence has shown that PGC-1α is a crucial regulator of Aβ generation because it affects β-secretase (BACE1) degradation. In this study we tested the hypothesis that NR treatment in an AD mouse model could attenuate Aβ toxicity through the activation of PGC-1α-mediated BACE1 degradation. Using the Tg2576 AD mouse model, using in vivo behavioral analyses, biochemistry assays, small hairpin RNA (shRNA) gene silencing and electrophysiological recording, we found (1) dietary treatment of Tg2576 mice with 250 mg/kg/day of NR for 3 months significantly attenuates cognitive deterioration in Tg2576 mice and coincides with an increase in the steady-state levels of NAD+ in the cerebral cortex; (2) application of NR to hippocampal slices (10 μM) for 4 hours abolishes the deficits in long-term potentiation recorded in the CA1 region of Tg2576 mice; (3) NR treatment promotes PGC-1α expression in the brain coinciding with enhanced degradation of BACE1 and the reduction of Aβ production in Tg2576 mice. Further in vitro studies confirmed that BACE1 protein content is decreased by NR treatment in primary neuronal cultures derived from Tg2576 embryos, in which BACE1 degradation was prevented by PGC-1α-shRNA gene silencing; and (4) NR treatment and PGC-1α overexpression enhance BACE1 ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Our studies suggest that dietary treatment with NR might benefit AD cognitive function and synaptic plasticity, in part by promoting PGC-1α-mediated BACE1 ubiquitination and degradation, thus preventing Aβ production in the brain.
Here at Advanced Rejuvenation I deal with the brain every day. Because of that, we also help patients who have legitimate brain issues. That said, we hear a lot of myths spreading about the brain. Are men and women really wired differently? Do we only use a small percentage of our brain? Are creative people and analytical people different because the use one part of their brain more? Do substances like alcohol kill your brain cells? Does introducing your child to classical music make him or her smarter?
These are all questions we hear and we thought we’d address rumors and set the record straight. Here is what we know not to be true:
10 is the magical number circulating in society—10% is all we use of our brains. This is incorrect. Our brain is a complex organ that develops over several years. While not 100% of our brain is used at one time, several parts of the brain are working together at once, and it’s certainly more than 10 %.
The thought that some people’s personalities are defined by which side of their brain they use more is simply incorrect. The idea that creative people act with more of the right side of their brain and that analytical people act more using the left side of their brain, isn’t right. In fact, both sides of the brain work whether a person is reading literature or solving a mathematic equation.
Similarly to the thought that “left brainers” are different from “right brainers,” it is thought that men’s brains work differently than women’s. Hence the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” phrase that baby boomers have been toting around for decades. Sorry to burst your bubbles, but this isn’t true. While the hormones secreted in the brain may be different, and that during the developmental period there are some changes that differ, the adult male and female brain differences do not account for any difference in behaviors between the sexes.
This is a myth that came about in the 1950s and became really popular in the 1990s. A high school teacher allowed her students to listen to Mozart before an exam and noted that the students had scores significantly higher after listening to this composer. Since then, there has been a frenzy of parents pushing their children to listen to classical music in hopes that it will increase their IQ. While learning an instrument does help an individual over time, simply listening to the music will not help a person develop any kind of super human intelligence.
While alcohol does have an effect on your brain cells, it doesn’t kill them. If it did, well, it’d kill you too. What alcohol does is that it affects the dendrites in the brain. Dendrites are found at the end of the neurons in your brain and so when they are damaged, so are you communication abilities. Long-term abuse to alcohol can lead to alcohol-related dementia and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. So no, having a cold beer or a martini after a long day now and then won’t harm your brain long term, but be careful in making it a habit.
There is growing evidence that a common childhood throat infection increases the risk of neurological disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome.
Scientists found children with such disorders were twice as likely to have had recent streptococcal infections than their healthy peers.
Researchers at Seattle’s Center for Health Studies suggest the body’s response to the infection may be key.
But they tell the journal Pediatrics that it is just one potential trigger.
We’ve found more tantalising clues about possible connections between childhood infections and certain disorders
Dr Robert Davis, lead researcher
OCD is more commonly associated with adults, but the researchers say it affects around 1 to 2% of school-age children – and transient tics can affect 10 to 25% of primary school age children.
Tourette’s – a neurological disorder characterized by tics, involuntary vocalization, and, in some cases, the compulsive utterance of obscenities – affects around one in every 100 children to some degree.
Scientists had suspected there may be a link between the streptococcal infection and neurological disorders.
It has been suggested that the body’s natural response to infection, where particular antibodies are produced and directed to parts of the brain, might be linked in some way to these disorders.
However, it is not clear why most of the millions of children who have bacterial throat infections each year do not develop such disorders.
The team from the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle aimed to assess the strength of the link between strep infections and the incidence of neurological disorders.
They looked at 200 children aged four to 13 diagnosed with a neurological disorder between 1992 and 1999, and compared them with healthy children in the same age group.
Children with Tourette’s, OCD or a tic disorder were more than twice as likely to have had at least one streptococcal infection in the three months before symptoms of their disease emerged.
And incidence of the disorders was more than three times as common among patients who had had two or more streptococcal infections in the year before the onset of their disease.
Dr Robert Davis, who led the study, said: “There are likely a number of different causes for these conditions, which often show up first in childhood or adolescence.
“Following a number of different leads from past research, we’ve found more tantalising clues about possible connections between childhood infections and certain disorders.
“However, our findings certainly don’t suggest that there is any immediate need for a change in medical – or parental – practice.”
He stressed that much more research was needed before advice could be given to parents and doctors in a bid to reduce the occurrence of childhood neurological disorders.
But he added: “Right now, this is all still in the research stage.
“We still don’t know if treatment with common antibiotics helps prevent these neurological conditions that might follow strep throat, or reduce their severity, or shorten their duration if they do occur.”
The researchers say a person’s genes may play a critical role, with infection acting as a trigger.
The UK’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Centre says streptococcal infection is one of several suggested causes for the condition, because of the potential damage caused by antibodies to neurotransmitters in the brain.
It adds: “Investigations into the impact of throat infection on the malfunctioning area of the brain identified with OCD are looking promising but are, as yet, inconclusive.”
Comment: I see so many cases of neurological disorders in my practice that began after they had an infection. I believe that besides strep there are viral and other bacteria that can contribute to the auto immune complication this article talks about.