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Aging Longevity and Age Management Sensory

Landmark research finds age-related hearing loss associated with low levels of aldosterone

11 years, 3 months ago

4140  0
Posted on Apr 23, 2009, 11 a.m. By gary clark

Researchers have found that older people with severe hearing loss have 50 percent less aldosterone compared to people with normal hearing. Anti-aging specialists are using the findings to provide new treatment for age-related hearing loss.

As people age, the level of aldosterone, a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal cortex, drops. This can affect hearing, as aldosterone is critical in controlling levels of two crucial signaling chemicals - sodium and potassium. Potassium in particular is very important to the function of the inner ear, where potassium-rich fluid plays a key role in converting sounds into signals that the nervous system is able to recognize. Unfortunately, in the normal course of aging, blood levels of aldosterone - and thus, potassium levels - fall, potentially affecting hearing in the inner ear and in the part of the brain used for hearing.

Scientists in Rochester, NY, studied the relationship between serum aldosterone levels and hearing loss in older people. Their study involved 47 healthy men and women between the ages of 58 and 84. Participants were put through an array of sophisticated hearing tests, including testing to evaluate their ability to discriminate sounds against a noisy background - a common problem for older people. The researchers found that those participants with greater amounts of aldosterone in their bloodstreams had better hearing, and those with an average of half the level of aldosterone had severe hearing loss. They also found "highly significant correlations between pure-tone thresholds in both right and left ears, and hearing in noise scores versus serum aldosterone levels." The findings of the study, which were published in the journal Hearing Research, are considered "landmark" and include researchers from the International Center for Hearing and Speech Research and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as neuroscientists from the University of Rochester.

Anti-aging specialist, Dr. Jonathan Wright, of the Tahoma Clinic in Renton, Washington is a pioneer in applying aldosterone research to patients with hearing loss. He has worked with several patients and has found that treating them with bioidentical aldosterone can help restore hearing.  Dr. Wright notes that all older people with hearing loss should be given an aldosterone urine test. As quoted in Suzanne Somer's book, Breakthrough, Dr. Wright says, "I definitely recommend the 24-hour urine test and never, ever believe the doctor who says, well, the normal range on serum aldosterone is 5 to 30 and yours is 6, so you must be okay. No...It's just like with (other) bioidentical hormones, we want to put you in the optimal ranges which would be closer to 30." Dr. And writes Natural News Editor Barbara Minton, "Dr. Neil Bauman of the Center for Hearing Loss Help has concluded that aldosterone is great news for people with hearing loss from autoimmune inner ear disease, people with Meniere's, and people who are losing their hearing as a result of aging."

News Release: Aldosterone provides new treatment for age-related hearing loss  April 22, 2009

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