The Department of Audiology participates in the following European projects:
- Thematic Network on the Genetics of Deafness- GENDEAF (as coordinator)
The project can be summarized in the following : (1)To collect data on the prevalence of mutations in the CX26 gene in individuals with non-syndromic hearing impairment (NSSNHI) from various European populations. (2)To measure the frequency and range of mutations in myosin VII A and usherin in individuals with Usher syndrome. (3)To develop exploitable pathogenic models of aminoglycoside ototoxicity and other forms of mitochondrial deafness. (4)To establish phenotypic criteria for recognising subgroups of non-syndromic hearing impairment. (5)To define the specific psychosocial impact of genetic hearing impairment on affected individuals and their families.(6) To facilitate communication between the research and hearing impaired communities (patients, families and their associations).
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- Thematic Network on the Advancement of Hearing Assessment Methods and Devices ? Immediate Intervention AHEAD-II (as member)
The project can be summarized in the following :This Project is conceived to establish and co-ordinate a network of centres of excellence (research centres and hospitals), of manufacturers and of organisations (scientific societies, and international organisations) to: (1) advance the whole field of Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) to validate the clinical applications of the new techniques mainly in universal newborn screening programmes; (2) demonstrate feasibility of universal newborn hearing screening programmes and of extremely early intervention at a few months of age; (3)publicise the achievable results of early identification and intervention among paediatric audiologists and otolaryngologists, neonatologists, paediatricians, and among health care administrators.
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- Shared-cost Research and Development (RTD) Action BioEar (as member)
The project can be summarized in the following: A cochlear implant is a neuro-prosthesis for severe deafness. The main goal of this proposal is to pharmacologically treat the auditory nerve after cochlear implantation, to protect the nerve from implantation trauma and to re-grow its peripheral processes. This treatment should improve speech understanding, enhancing the life quality of the patient. Animal studies, and studies on human tissue samples, will be performed to determine the efficacy of neurotrophins and antioxidants in preserving the auditory nerve following deafness. Delivery systems will also designed to supply drugs at the time of cochlear implantation. Safety, effectiveness and suitable dosage will be investigated, leading eventually to the first human trials of neurotrophins in the inner ear. The outcomes of the research will have further implications for the pharmacological treatment of hearing loss, for the use of neurotrophins to prevent neural degeneration in the CNS, and for other neuroprostheses.