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Research

Current research related to Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s/Vertigo/BPPV Diagnostic Tool

More volunteers needed – Alfred Hospital-Monash University
Monash University (Australia) researchers believe they have developed a new diagnostic tool for assisting in the early detection of Meniere’s/Vertigo/BPPV disease and subsequently for measuring the effectiveness of drug therapies applied to their treatments.

Research has progressed well (see below). To complete the next stage of the project the team are now looking for more volunteers with diagnosed Meniere’s or BPPV or non specific Vertigo to participate. The test involves placing a cotton bud like electrode in the ear and voluntarily tilting the head forward and back. The test lasts about 1-1.5 hours. Meniere’s Australia Committee Member Lynn Polson OAM participated and found it to be a very interesting experience.

For more information email Bria Lithgow.

Progress report – May 2013
The research into the uses of ElectroVesibulography (EVestG) as a tool for detecting and monitoring Vestibular disorders is progressing well thanks to the volunteers who have participated in the study.

In 2010 EVestG won the ABC New Inventor’s Invention of the year.

A second EVestG clinical facility is now operational at the Riverview Hospital Winnipeg Canada [associated with the University of Manitoba]. This facility is working on Balance disorders, as well as mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) and early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease (Dementia), both conditions affecting balance.

The Researchers have just completed a pilot blind trial of separating a number of vertiginous pathologies including BPPV, Meniere’s, Acoustic Neuroma with a >84% accuracy. These results have encouraged us to expand this blind trial. A journal on these results is currently being prepared.

Example Publications:

  1. “ElectroVestibuloGram (EVestG): The separation of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease” by B. Lithgow, M. Shoushtarian, and D. Heibert. MedSip2006, Glasgow, UK. CD Rom 4 pgs.
  2. “Electrovestibulography (EvestG): The “DC” potential used to separate Meniere’s Disease and BPPV” (2007) by A .Garrett, D.Heibert and B. Lithgow, Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS, Lyon France 4 pages.
  3. “EVestG signals: Feature selection.” B. J. Lithgow, D. Heibert. NER2009, Ankalya, Turkey. 4pgs.
  4. “Computer Models of the Vestibular Head Tilt Response, and their relationship to EVestG and Meniere’s Disease”, Heibert,D.,Lithgow, B.and Hourigan, K., Tokyo May 2010 International Conference on Cognitive and Neural Systems Engineering. 10pgs
  5. “A methodology for detecting field potentials from the external ear canal: NEER and EVestG”, (2012) Brian J. Lithgow, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 40(8) 1835-1850. DOI:10.1007/s10439-012-0526-3.

Australian Meniere’s Research Fund Inc. (MRFI)

Australian Daniel Brown MSc (Hons) was awarded the first MRF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for research into Meniere’s disease. Daniel worked with Professor Alec N Salt at the University of Washington USA. The research involved studies of the activity of hair cells within the inner ear that could reveal new insights into Meniere’s disease.

Funds for the Fellowship were donated by members of the Meniere’s Support Groups of Victoria and NSW, Australian corporations and individuals.

For more information about Dr Daniel Brown and the work that the Meniere’s Research Fund is currently undertaking visit the Meniere’s Research Fund Inc website.