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Imaging the labyrinthine-blood barrier in Meniere's disease

60 months
Approved budget:
Professor Peter Thorne
Health issue:
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Ménière's Disease (MD) is a chronic, debilitating inner ear disease with bouts of severe dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss. The causes and mechanisms of MD are largely unknown, but it is thought to be caused by disturbances of the inner ear fluids. This project uses a novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging approach to see whether MD is correlated with disruptions in the barrier between the inner ear blood vessels and tissues (the blood-labyrinth barrier). Normally this barrier tightly controls passage of nutrients and blood circulating factors into the inner ear as part of the mechanisms regulating its ionic and fluid environment. We will investigate the ""leakiness"" of the barrier in patients with mild and severe MD as well as during the symptomatic attacks and over time. This will provide new insight into the mechanisms of MD and lead to investigations of therapeutic approaches to reduce the impact of this debilitating condition.