Friday, September 4, 2015

Existing anti-stroke drug can be effective in treating middle-ear infections

In continuation of my update on Vinpocetine

An existing anti-stroke drug is an effective treatment for middle-ear infections, showing the ability to suppress mucus overproduction, improve bacterial clearance and reduce hearing loss, according to researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Rochester.

The findings, published May 13 in the Journal of Immunology, could result in a novel, non-antibiotic treatment for otitis media, or middle-ear infection, possibly through topical drug delivery. Vinpocetine, the drug involved in the study, has long been used to treat neurological disorders such as stroke.

The study found topical administration of Vinpocetine suppressed inflammation and the overproduction of mucus induced by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, improved hearing loss in the middle ear and significantly improved bacterial clearance in animal studies.


"Our encouraging preliminary data suggest that the repurposed drug Vinpocetine may play a critical role in inhibiting inflammation and enhancing antimicrobial defenses in otitis media," said Dr. Jian-Dong Li, director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Inflammation and Immunity. "Our proposed studies may lead to developing novel, non-antibiotic therapeutic strategies to control immunopathology, reduce mucus overproduction, improve hearing loss and enhance host defense for otitis media."

Otitis media is the most common childhood bacterial infection and the leading cause of conductive hearing loss. Streptococcus pneumonia is one of the most common bacterial pathogens causing middle-ear infection.

In the United States, there are 24.5 million visits to physicians' offices each year because of otitis media and more than $5 billion is spent annually for the care of this disease, according to studies in Pediatric Annals and Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

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