Channelopathies, Meniere’s and tinnitus: Evidences of common pathophysiological mechanisms

A El Refaie

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


    Background: Ion channels are macromolecular proteins embedded in the cellular membrane. Their main function is to guide the directional flow of ions from inside and outside the cell, through concentration or electrical gradients (Kole et al, 2003). A growing number of diseases are now recognized to be the direct cause of dysfunctional ionic channels, usually through genetic mutation “channelopathies” (Waxman, 2007). Other implicated aetiologies could be autoimmune disorders, ototoxicity (one of the main mechanisms chemical ablation treatment for Meniere’s disease is based on is the interference with calcium channels inside the cochlea), or iatrogenic. Transmission of sound and sharp tuning in the cochlea is largely dependant on ionic concentration of primarily potassium, sodium and calcium ions inside the endolymph. Inner and outer hair cells have distinct K+ channels and express calcium channels too Some kinds of non-syndromic autosomal dominant progressive hearing loss were found to be related to mutations affecting K+ channels expressed in the outer hair cells as well as some syndromic hereditary conditions (Gates, 2005). Other conditions were channelopathies are implicated, like familial ataxia and migraine, have common characteristics with Meniere’s disease Studies looking at the therapeutic effects of some calcium channel blockers in cases of clinical tinnitus (Nimodipine) (Davies et al, 1994) and other neuroprotective drugs (Shulman, 1997) are reviewed Aims: This review aim to explore possible correlations between the pathological processes implicated in Channelopathies, Meniere’s disease and tinnitus in the literature. New theories regarding the development of endolymphatic hydrops in tinnitus patients and its relation to the generation of hearing loss and tinnitus will also be explored. Methodology: A review of literature of published studies in the last 10 years Results and conclusion: There is some evidence in the literature regarding the correlation between Meniere’s diseases and some channelopathies involving Ca+ channels in particular. There is also data on the effect of certain calcium channel blockers on tinnitus. New theories on the role of enodplymphatic hydrops in Meniere’s symptomatology, both primary and secondary will be highlighted, together with suggestions for future research. A discussion on the incorporation of results of basic research in protocols for tinnitus management will be form part of the presentation
    Translated title of the contributionChannelopathies, Meniere’s and tinnitus: Evidences of common pathophysiological mechanisms
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIXth International Tinnitus seminar, Guthenburg, Sweden
    EditorsKajsa-Mia Holgers
    Pages32 - 32
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: Proceddings of the IXth international Tinnitus Seminar
    Conference Organiser: International Tinnitus seminars and Swedish Association of Audiologists


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