of the Year 2015
Drisana Levitzke-Gray - Deaf advocate
The fifth generation in her family to be born deaf, Drisana Levitzke-Gray, is dedicated to helping other deaf people and advocating their human rights. Born with moderate hearing loss into a family with deaf parents, a deaf brother and a deaf extended family, Drisana cherishes her first language, Auslan. She promotes the deaf community as one without borders and one of rich language, culture, history and traditions.
As the only Australian selected to attend the Frontrunners international deaf youth leadership course in 2012 and 2013, Drisana worked with communities in Europe and Samoa to expand leadership capacity and human rights understanding of deaf youth.
In 2014, Drisana became the first deaf Auslan
the commercial development of the Cochlear
user to fulfil her civic duty as a juror. Drisana
Implant project commenced.
is the embodiment of the concept of ‘deaf
Today, as Cochlear Limited Chief Scientist, gain', not ‘hearing loss', inspiring the deaf
Jim has oversight of Cochlear's global research
community, encouraging others to accept
Associate Professor Jim Patrick AO
portfolio. He has held a number of senior diversity and promoting a positive image of
MSc DEng(hc) FTSE FIE Aust CPE
management positions at Cochlear since deafness which says loudly and proudly: "it is
1981, and is also an Associate Professor at OK to be deaf".
the department of Otolaryngology at the
Associate Professor Patrick was awarded The University of Melbourne and Adjunct Professor
Order of Australia for Distinguished Service to
at both the La Trobe and Macquarie Universities.
Science through the development of cochlear
He is a member of several Advisory Boards.
Implant technology; to biomedical research and
engineering; and to education and professional
Jim Patrick has supported and encouraged
the development of CICADA since our
incorporation in 1984. We thank him for his
Jim is Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist
ongoing support and congratulate him on his
at Cochlear Limited and has played a leading
Australia Day Honour.
role in the development of the COCHLEAR IMPLANT since joining Professor Graeme Clark
Young Australian of the Year Drisana Levitzke-Gray. (AAP)
as a development engineer in 1975.
Jim worked closely with Professor Clark and his team, contributing to the design and construction of the implantable stimulation and electrode array, later becoming Project Manager. Jim moved to Sydney in 1981 to be a founding member of Cochlear Limited (then a division of Nucleus Limited) when
Jim Patrick and Alan Jones
CICADA Australia www.cicada.org.au
From the President clients that lived outside of Sydney and had
difficulty getting to appointments. Shirley
CICADA AGM 2014
pushed consistently for this and Max and Isobel Lindsay started up a Newcastle support group and actively raised funds to help. In 2002,
New South Wales
SCIC provided their first "Outreach" visit to
CICADA AUSTRALIA INC.
Newcastle. CICADA later provided funds for 2
Secretary: Judy Cassell
laptop computers to assist with the expansion
of the Outreach service. SCIC still provides
South Turramurra NSW 2074
regular Outreach to regional areas that do
not have their own clinic. In more recent times, CICADA contributed to the audiobook
library that is used for listening practice and
rehabilitation, particularly by new recipients.
Secretary: Shirley Edwards85 Crotona Rd
This year, Kath Westbrook brought up the
Capalaba QLD 4157
issue of safer access to the Conference Room
Ph/Fax: (07) 3824 5003
and made a personal donation to this effect.
Email: [email protected]
CICADA liaised with SCIC management and contributed to the installation of the railings
that are now in place at the entranceways and
As you know, CICADA celebrates 30 years this
CICADA SOUTH AUSTRALIA
year, since our inaugural meeting in 1984. We
have been officially incorporated since 1993. In 2008, Alan Jones proposed that CICADA
Our main activities as a group are to advocate
commission a biography of Professor Gibson,
for implant recipients and to inform people to detail the great contribution he has made to
about all aspects of living with a CI. By having
CI's in Australia. Tina Allen has been researching
social gatherings we can share our experiences
and writing this book and we hope to launch
CICADA CLUB W.A. INC.
and each other's company! We also do try the book for Hearing Awareness Week 2015 as
Coordinator: Lynette Fleming
to provide interesting guest speakers and CICADA's tribute to Bill Gibson.
showcase new technology.
I'd like to thank those of our members who have
Phone: (08) 9349 7712
Our strengths are, I think, that we provide a donated prizes for our raffles. Sally Elks, Lorna
Fax: (08) 9349 9763
friendly meeting place where all are welcome.
Collins, Annette Biddlecombe and Kerry Van
For people who are considering a CI, we can Der Heyden. Also to those who donate books
provide first hand information from various for our fantastic second hand book store. This
implant users. With the benefit of our own was Judy Cassell's idea and is a great resource
Coordinator Chris Blackham-Davison
experience, we can help recipients make the for all our bibliophiles. It also generates funds
most of their hearing with tips for using the
to help us do our job!
SMS: 0427 897 170
phone or hearing loops etc.
Our WEBSITE needs input from members
At Gladesville, CICADA is very fortunate to to augment the information available on it.
CICADA ACT INC
have the use of the SCIC Facilities, for which I
Your personal stories, good or bad, are always
am grateful. In return, CICADA supports SCIC
Secretary: Renuka Raghuraman
welcome and you can remain anonymous if you
in whatever ways we can. SCIC moved into the
choose. We also would welcome ANY feedback
Gladesville buildings in 1996-7. Prior to this, on the look and functionality of the website,
Hook Up Online And
we held CICADA BBQ's all over Sydney, from
so please do provide relevant comments.
Share Your News
Scotland Island to Lugarno, at different public
THE CALENDAR is a very useful tool on the
parks and held several Christmas Parties at St
Please visit us at www.cicada.org.au
website. WE encourage anyone to contact the
Joseph's college Hunters Hill.
Or our Facebook page Cicada Australia Inc.
webmistress, or myself, if they are having a
Darwin friends now have their own
gathering for implant recipients anywhere in
Alan Jones first proposed the idea of a club
Facebook page Cicada Northern Territory
Australia. In this way, if you are travelling, you
room in 1998. Permission to use our existing
might want to join in and meet recipients from
Club Room was granted in 2005 after many other towns or states
If you would prefer to receive this
discussions with the Gladesville hospital site
newsletter by email, please send your
manager for a suitable space that we could ILLAWARRA CICADA, under the careful
details to [email protected]
use. During this time, Chrissy Boyce secured guidance of Bob Ross, continues to attract
a generous donation from entrepreneur Dick
Donations over $2 to CICADA are
new visitors. Bob and his helpers hold BBQ's
Smith, who reportedly said on radio that the CI
every 2 months and they are a good solid
was one of the most exciting inventions of our
group, supporting each other in the South
time!! (We agree!!). With these funds Chrissy
Coast region. I was introduced to the Illawarra
CICADA Australia Inc. thanks Cochlear Ltd.
and John purchased our furniture, BBQ and Live Steamers at their BBQ in October 2014. A
for supporting the design, printing and
kitchen equipment that we use for our events.
beautiful setting at North Wollongong, where
distribution of this newsletter.
volunteer steam train enthusiasts have set up
Shirley Hanke, in the year 2000, proposed that
their own scale-model railway, complete with
SCIC provide a "mobile" audiology service to
a station and ride-on trains. It is great fun,
not just for the kids, as adults can ride on the
and vision services. SCIC and RIDBC now utilize
trains too. Many thanks to Bob and friends for
shared premises at Nepean, Gosford, Lismore,
creating that great sense of belonging amongst
Historical Perspectives and the
Macquarie Hearing Hub and Darwin. Both
Future of Hearing Services in
organisations have developed technological
resources to deliver their services to remote
WESTERN SYDNEY CICADA has about 3
and rural clients e.g. RIDBC Teleschool across
Sunday BBQ's each year and a great core
Australia and SCIC Remote mapping to Samoa
bunch of helpers. Our thanks go to Judy and
and rural Australia. The integration of SCIC
Kel Tutty, Geoff Letford, Marg and Sean Sewell
services within RIBDC combines the best of
for their consistent efforts in Western Sydney.
both organisations and will increase the length
They started regular morning teas in March this
and breath of hearing loss service for people of
year, first Tuesday of the month, using the new
Penrith SCIC as the venue. This works well for the audiologists at the Penrith centre, who can
The Commonwealth government is looking
recommend to clients that they pop in to meet
into selling its Australian Hearing (AH)
and greet some experienced recipients.
network; this has raised important issues. AH has a community service obligation to provide
With the merging of SCIC and RIDBC, there is
free hearing tests and aids, also parts and
scope for events to be held at the North Rocks
Chris Rehn, Chief Executive of the Royal repairs and upgrades to cochlear implants to
school or some of their other locations. We will
Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, presented
those under 26 and those on aged pensions.
be discussing this with Chris Rehn and possibly
at the CICADA AGM November 2014, some AH also operates the National Acoustic
in 2015 may hold some events at North Rocks.
facts and opinions on the state of play and the
Laboratory which runs extensive research
future of the hearing environment in Australia.
programs and develops new products to the
LISMORE District have initiated a support
benefit of all Australians. The integrity of this
group after the first gathering in 2014 after Chris began his career as a nurse, moving into network is at risk.
Easter. The Lismore SCIC proposed the event,
Public Health administration, then into the
but locals are keen to establish support groups
Private Hospital sector and accounting before
Options to split up AH into its various business
in the area. They are all spread out over some
starting as General Manager of the Children's
components and sell them off may maximize
hundreds of kilometres, so may end up with a
Cochlear Implant Centre (CCIC) in 1996. 17 the sale price to the government, but who
few small groups rather than one large one. So
implant surgeries were performed that year would buy these "fragments" and would they
we will do what we can to support them in their
with the CCIC established as a joint venture serve us as well as the current government-
between the Children's Hospital Westmead and
owned model? PriceWaterhouseCooper are
Sydney University. Chris worked closely with
currently doing a scoping study on the issues
Our YOUNG ADULTS GROUP held a few Professor Bill Gibson to build on Bill's vision for involved and RIDBC made representations
gatherings this year. We are hoping that we can
the future of paediatric cochlear implants, of
to them in August 2014, arguing that if AH is
grow this group to be good support for each
equitable care and clients-before-profit.
to be privatized, the primary consideration
other and other young adults who come into
should be preservation of the intention of the
the CI program.
In 1999, the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital adult
Hearing Services Act ensuring quality services
cochlear implant program relocated to the for those in need, rather than profit. Also that
Sydney CICADA will continue our BBQ and Gladesville site. Over the next few years the accreditation criteria for providers need to be
Morning Teas next year. We always have a good
2 programs were integrated and Outreach strong.
time and are on the lookout for interesting services were provided to both children and
presentations. We have come a long way since
adults in regional areas. This was the start of
In research, Australia currently leads the way
the early days and enjoy the strong friendships
Australia's most comprehensive CI program, and the new Australian Hearing Hub brings
that have developed from working together.
which in 2001 became the Sydney Cochlear together AH with other researchers, educators Implant Centre.
and a host of professionals to extend this leadership. The National Disability Insurance
In 2003 SCIC services were provided at the Scheme was proposed to ensure that people RIDBC Tingira Centre in Newcastle, then as with a disability have the support they need to numbers grew, an SCIC clinic was established
participate as best they can in the community.
at The Junction. Canberra SCIC was officially
So will the NDIS fund hearing services if AH is
launched in 2007, Gosford and Lismore in not there to provide? 2010. Rob McLeod took on the position of General Manager at SCIC in 2010 and worked
There are many issues to consider, but the final words from Chris to ALL of us are:
Chris Rehn, Sue Walters and Alex Phillips
to establish the Penrith centre that opened in 2013. Also in 2003 the Matilda Rose Early
* Let's put Hearing Health on the agenda as a
Intervention Centre was established for National Prioritychildren with cochlear implants and other * Build community awareness and special needs. This was a joint venture initiated
understanding of the impact of hearing loss.
by SCIC with financial assistance from the * Improve access to services across AustraliaCarnegie family, but in 2010 was transitioned
* Government should reduce duplication,
to an RIDBC/SCIC integrated service.
competitiveness and spend money wisely* We need to ACT to drive change and not be
RIDBC was established in 1860 and is Australia's
passive to the journey; write to local, state and
Some members of the Young Adults Group
largest non-government provider of hearing national MP's to voice your opinions
An Article by
hearing impairment, a chronic disorder of the yet people who use hearing aids are provided ear, are Deaf or deafblind, and the families with replacements and upgrades as required.
that support them. While our resources have historically been restricted, we continue to A crucial public asset, Australian Hearing may
Guest Speaker at the AGM
work hard advising the government on strategic be sold. The government must be persuaded to policy development on behalf of the 1 in 6 ensure that services to vulnerable Australians
I'm Alexander Phillips from Adelaide, South Australians who have a hearing impairment. are maintained or enhanced, and that the Australia and I'm a proud member of CICADA.
We also run well-attended events including research undertaken by the National Acoustic
I was born profoundly deaf in both ears and the biennial National Deafness Sector Summit, Laboratories continues.
received a cochlear implant at 3.5 years of Captioning Awards, Hearing Awareness Week age. Fortunately, I was able to obtain enough and Libby Harricks Memorial Oration. Until this We face a formidable challenge to ensure there language to attend a mainstream school at year we have been mostly funded by a Federal is a national voice for the 4 million Australians 5 years of age. I was able to complete high Government grant. Sadly, we received the Deafness Forum represents and we remain school and attend university where I completed
news from the Department of Social Services passionate to continue with our mission to
Bachelor and Masters degrees in Economics, just before Christmas that Deafness Forum foster change for Australians who are hearing Accounting and Finance. On completion of my
and a number of other national advocacy impaired, Deaf, deafblind, have an ear disorder,
studies, I was able to secure a job in a national
organisations would not be funded in 2015. and the families that support them.
accounting firm specialising in insolvency.
We will seek other sources of funding and find ways to make further savings to maintain our
Despite being able to finish mainstream advocacy activities for as long as possible.
schooling and university with a profound hearing loss, all along something still bothered
During Hearing Awareness Week last year, we
me. Discrimination of people with hearing launched the Make it Number 10 campaign. impairment was still rife even though we are Currently, there are 9 areas that have received one of the most fortunate countries in the National Health Priority status. We want world. Discrimination is everywhere, in social Hearing to be the 10th National Health Priority. situations, education and in the workplace. The campaign will help us bring hearing to Until our policy makers understand the true the attention of our policy makers, a growing impacts of hearing impairment they will truly problem that can no longer be ignored. As you not be able to respond appropriately and until
would be aware those with cochlear implants
they do so discrimination will remain. I felt the
are affected by a lack of support in numerous
need to do something! Luckily an opportunity
areas of their lives.
came up to join the Board of Deafness Forum of Australia and with CICADA's support I was able
One example of inequity is Age and Disability
to secure a position on the Board.
Pensioners who have cochlear implants and are eligible for the Australian Government Hearing
Deafness Forum of Australia is the national Services Program. These people are not representative of all Australians who have provided with replacement speech processors,
24th Annual General Meeting of Cicada Australia Inc.
November's AGM followed the usual pattern,
The main guest speaker Chris Rehn, CE of Thanks to Chris and John Boyce who organize
of the AGM meeting followed by guest RIBDC, spoke on The Future of Hearing Services
the raffle each year, to those who support
speakers and BBQ.
in Australia. An overview of his presentation is
Cicada by purchasing tickets and those who
in this copy of the Buzz.
make a donation in lieu of buying tickets. Your
The Presidents Report given by Sue Walters
support is greatly appreciated.
can be seen on page 2 of this issue. Chris Boyce
The supporting guest speaker Alex Phillips,
followed with the Treasurers Report, with visiting from Adelaide, was born profoundly copies of the audited financial report available
deaf in both ears and had his CI 23 years ago.
to the members present.
He is a Cicada member as well as being on the board of Deafness Forum. He is passionate
Office Bearers for 2015
about raising awareness of issues relating to hearing issues and in particular advocating
the Make it No 10 campaign. Alex has kindly
Sonny Bennet and Tina Allen
written an article for this issue of the Buzz.
Helper Maria Keegan
The Cicada Annual Raffle was drawn after the
AGM. Congratulations to the winners
Alan JonesAnne Cecilia Kramar
Allen Stewart - First Prize $500
Dorothy Johnston - Second Prize $200 Kath Westbrook - Third Prize $100
Workers, Alan Jones, John Boyce and Jim Booth
NSW Support Groups
BBQ's will be held on
Current dates set for Picnics in the Park for 2015
6th September, 1st November – AGM.
Sunday 22nd February
Illawarra Live Steamers
Sunday 26th April
Details for each of the gatherings will be sent
Sunday 28th June
Illawarra Live Steamers
prior to the event. A flyer, detailing our first
Sunday 30th August
BBQ of the year on the 15th March, will be Sunday 25th October
Illawarra Live Steamers
included with this issue of the Buzz.
Sunday 6th December
Shellharbour Pool Xmas Party
These days continue to be very popular with
From 10:30am till 3.00pm
our members, and the committee works hard to find a selection of interesting and relevant
Bob Ross, after a number of years coordinating the Illawarra group is stepping down. Bob writes
speakers for each occasion. If you have any … "Well, its with enormous joy that I wish to inform you all, that David Romanowski has ‘stepped
suggestions of a suitable guest speaker, please
up' and intends to carry on the Coordinators duties with the Illawarra Cicada CI Support Group,
let one of the committee members know.
starting with the 2nd event in April at Shellharbour. After he assists me with the BBQ in February, a decision will be made in regards to it (BBQ) being used into the future."
A great vote of thanks to Bob for his tireless work and good humour over the last few years as he has grown the Illawarra group.
Please contact Bob Ross for further information
Mobile: 0418 630 466
Email: [email protected]
Morning Tea goodies
Morning Teas and Birthdays
The following are the dates for morning teas
The Gals at the last Illawarra
Please note there will be no morning tea in
For information about this group contact
April 2015 as it coincides with the beginning of
the Easter period.
Sheliya Van Buggenum is in the throes of MaryAnn [email protected] developing a support group in the Lismore OR
Mobile 0438 461 659
Information can also be checked on the Cicada
region. If you would like to find out more about
Website www.cicada.org.au or by contacting this contact details are below.
Karen [email protected]
the secretary, Judy Cassell
Mobile 0402 072 074
Sheliya Van Buggenum [email protected]
Co-coordinator: Judy TuttyMobile: 0437049452Email: [email protected]: facebook.com/westsydneycicada
Faye Yarroll, Karen Cooper and Anne
Davis at the last 2014 morning tea
Sheliya Van Buggenum
Books to Read
with Middle East
Nov 2014 sbs.com.au
is Back in a Revised
At home, she uses Auslan – Australian sign language – to communicate with her deaf husband Simon and her three young hearing
Nov 2014 Audiology Online
children. "We are happy with our language and don't feel disabled." If her children had been deaf, she wouldn't have chosen a cochlear implant for them, either. "If I have an operation it will make me feel I'm not normal and I need to be fixed. I wouldn't want my ‘deaf' children
Surgeons from around the world have started to feel this way. "She's in a minority – SCIC traveling to Australia for training at a new chief executive Robert McLeod estimates institute specialising in restoring hearing with "possibly in excess of 90 per cent" of Australian cochlear implants. The Cochlear Clinical Skills children born profoundly deaf are implanted. Institute (CCSI) opened its doors, hosting About 98 per cent of Australian newborns are surgeons from the Middle East, including Egypt tested for hearing difficulties. And there is a and Saudi Arabia. Dr Ibrahim Shami from the vaccine for rubella, a disease which caused a King Fahad Medical Centre in Saudi Arabia is one significant rise in the number of deaf people of three Saudi specialists starting the training. in the epidemics of 1944-48 and 1965-70. In Saudi Arabia 13 centres are currently doing Plus IVF technology means foetuses can be about 1,000 operations a year but with 3000 screened for "deaf genes". new cases of deafness every year, doctors can't keep up. Cochlear implant technology was Professor Trevor Johnston helped compile the developed in Australia more than 30 years ago; Auslan dictionary; he believes Auslan could be
Plural Publishing has just published the second
innovations in the surgical procedure means it facing a demographic crisis. Improved hearing
edition of this book – a volume in the Core
now only takes about two hours to complete. aid technology and cochlear implants mean
Clinical Concepts in Audiology Series. With
"This is in important training hub for doctors more people who would have once used Auslan
current information on cochlear implant all over the world because you come close the are able to function effectively using speech technology, Programming Cochlear Implants device itself and you learn how to insert the and hearing alone. Tablets and apps, which can is a valuable guide for clinicians providing different types of electrode in the ear, "Egypt's help with vocabulary, sentence building and services to cochlear implant users or as a Ain Shams University Ear Specialist Professor social interaction, are becoming more popular. teaching tool for graduate-level students. The
Hassan Wahba said. He says the new lab at Predictions are very difficult . but it looks as
book introduces the basics of cochlear implant
Macquarie University has much-needed cutting if the population of deaf people who use sign
hardware and programming and continues edge equipment that uses video scopes, which language will continue to decrease, so there through advanced programming techniques, means that while visiting surgeons practice will be a time in the next 50 years where the with manufacturer-specific information and their technique in Sydney, their colleagues at deaf community may not exist," Johnston case studies. More details will be available on
hospitals around the world can watch it live.
says. He has called that possibility of Auslan's disappearance "an unambiguous and linguistic
the CICADA website.
Cochlear implants, tragedy."
Emerging Issues in
However, apps such as Skype and Facetime are offering a path for Auslan to continue
in a way that looked unlikely even a decade ago. Younger deaf people or their parents and
diminish use of
friends tell Johnston they're using YouTube and Skype a lot. So signing could continue in
Oct 2014 Hearing Loss Association Australian sign
a global virtual community. "You may have very few people in Australia but in the rest of
the world there's going to be tens or hundreds of thousands of people using another sign
The American Cochlear Implant Alliance has just published their proceedings from its first
November 2014 Sydney Morning
language which deaf people will slot into."
symposium. The proceedings are intended to Herald Technology
That's already happening with American Sign Language, which Johnston says is becoming a
be a general resource for anyone in hearing health care—not just cochlear implant Karli Dettman, a deaf yoga teacher and second language for some Australian signers, clinicians. Consumers and parents will find it
therapist in her late 40s, could have a cochlear just as English is a worldwide lingua franca.
to be accessible and interesting reading. More
implant but doesn't want one.
details will be available on the CICADA website.
debut was a nice feeling. "Also my second place
at the Geneva European Cup was a surprise bonus, as I had a bike accident during the race,
but got back on to finish and run through the
field. I didn't know I was coming second until I
MRIs and cochlear
was 500m from the finish!"
Jan 2015 EnidNews.com Oklahoma
Melinda had to end her season early after a
An estimated 5 percent of those who would painful Achilles forced her to pull out of the Nov 2014 Reuters Health, New York
benefit from a cochlear implant actually World Cup. "I will be out for a while but I am
are getting implants, according to Cochlear taking the time to treat it properly so it can More than 300,000 people worldwide now have
Americas Clinical Territory Manager Jessica be prevented for the future," she said. Being a a cochlear implant. "There have been several
Ballard. "A lot of that is because of the fact cochlear implant recipient, Melinda is an active reports of adverse events, such as magnet
that people just don't know about it, they member of the Cochlear Awareness Network. displacement and polarity changes, following
don't understand who's a candidate and who's
Cochlear is also one of her major sponsors, MRI in patients with cochlear implants," said
not, but also access," she said. There are many
which has assisted her greatly with funding for
Dr. Jae Young Choi at Yonsei University in Seoul,
adults out there who have had progressive overseas travel, competing costs and training South Korea. Some implants have removable
magnets, in which case it should be removed.
hearing loss, possibly for many years, who equipment.
Other patients should use head dressings while
have reached a point where they no longer are
in the magnetic machine.
benefiting from traditional hearing aids."Yet,
they don't know about some of the other
options that are available to them," Ballard A little Darwin
Her team reviewed the medical records of
said, adding they also often do not know the
girl will be able to
18 patients with cochlear implants who had MRIs between 2003 and 2014, including
implant procedure is covered by insurance.
hear through new
12 brain scans and 18 body scans. Some patients had multiple scans. Thirteen of the 18
patients made it through their MRIs without complications. Five people could not complete
Melinda Vernon is
being born deaf
their scans due to pain, one experiencing magnet displacement and another requiring
rolling up the world
surgery for magnet removal and reinsertion.
Nov 2014 NT News
"If the magnet is displaced, it can be easily
replaced by surgery under local anesthesia," Choi said. Even with protective bandages,
Nov 2014 Penrith Press
some patients felt significant pain. The three patients with the most serious side effects of the scan did not appear to have damaged hearing performance afterwards.
Many doctors think that as long as the patient is not injured, the MRI can be performed safely and is acceptable, according to Dr. Emanuel
16-week old Abigail
Kanal of the department of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who
Abigail Loganathan was born profoundly wrote an editorial accompanying the study.
deaf – but thanks to modern technology she
"The problem is that the physician may not
has been given the gift of hearing. HearLab
recognize or be aware of pain issues, Kanal
is a tool developed by Australian Hearing's said, because 99.9 percent of MRIs involve no research department and measures changes pain". Sometimes, even if it is painful, it is still
appropriate for the patient to be scanned, but
in brainwave patterns to more precisely read
doctors and patients should still be aware of
a baby's response to sound. At Australian the possibility, he said.
Hearing Darwin, Abigail was the first to use the
(See also Faye Yarroll's MRI notes on CICADA
new HearLab test procedure.
Deaf Athlete Melinda Vernon has risen from
a rank in the 300s to 92nd in the world after
Australian Hearing Darwin boss John Anderson
a stellar triathlon season overseas. This was
said HearLab was an exciting step in the early
the 29-year-old from Springwood's first season
intervention of children with hearing loss.
as a pro triathlete. "It's been a challenging first
"In Abigail's case, HearLab allowed us to gain
year being away from home for a long period
a more accurate and objective measure of
because I am a family-oriented person, said
Abigail's hearing, without the need for her
Vernon, but the travelling and racing was a to take part in any behavioural testing. We
great and valuable learning experience."
discovered that she is profoundly deaf and the best form of treatment for her hearing loss is
Vernon previously competed in marathons
Jan 2015 Maney Online Abstract
the cochlear implant."
and other long distance running events before
for 10th European Symposium April
making the switch to triathlons. "I was excited
2015 State of the Art Cochlear
when I achieved my first podium (third) in
Devonport in March. It was my first real outing
Few studies have addressed the benefits of
as a pro triathlete and to achieve that on official
cochlear implantation for the small group of
patients with bilateral, end-stage Meniere's after hearing loss. Professor Helmy Mulders of
It was as if a supporting actor couldn't perform,
disease, or unilateral disease with contralateral
UWA's Auditory Laboratory investigated the and his young understudy stepped in suddenly
hearing loss from another cause. This efficacy of treating tinnitus in animals using to carry on the performance and support the retrospective study evaluates the effectiveness
furosemide, a diuretic drug usually prescribed
lead actor. The finding not only shows that
and post-operative performance in these to reduce swelling and water retention. She deafness can result from loss of supporting Meniere's disease patients and discusses found that single as well as repetitive use cells, but also a previously unknown ability these findings relative to other post-lingually
of furosemide reduced hyperactivity in the to regenerate supporting cells that's present
deafened adults. Among 456 adults who auditory nerve and midbrain, interfering only for a few days after birth in the mice. If received cochlear implants, eight (1.7%) patients
with neurotransmitter release from the scientists can determine what's going on inside
were identified with Meniere's disease who ear's inner hair cells to the auditory nerves. these cells, they might be able to harness it to met clinical indications for implantation along
"It strengthens our argument that the find new approaches to regenerating auditory
with a control group of seven non-Meniere's hyperactivity is somehow involved in the cells and restoring hearing in humans.
patients of comparable age and deafness. Data
generation of tinnitus." The research suggests
gathered included demographics, auditory and
furosemide is only therapeutically effective
vestibular symptoms pre-implantation, and in the first six weeks after hearing loss, when
Hearing Loss Linked
clinical course after implantation, including auditory neurons appear hyper-excitable. Prof audiometric scores and audiologic evaluations.
Mulders will soon start a proof-of-principle to Accelerated
A strong likelihood was found that CIs did trial with Prof Peter Friedland from UWA's Ear benefit the subset of Meniere's patients with
Sciences Centre to test the furosemide effect in
Brain Tissue Loss
severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.
volunteer patients with tinnitus.
Fluctuations in hearing sensitivity can often be
August 2014 Audiology Online
resolved by subsequent reprogramming.
Although the brain becomes smaller with age,
Ear Cells Hold
the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to researchers
from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging. The findings add to a growing list of
health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia,
falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical
Nov 2014 Bioscience Technology
and mental health overall. Dr Frank Lin and his colleagues used information from the
Jan 2015 American Academy of
ongoing Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging
to compare brain changes over time between adults with normal hearing and adults with
People with cochlear implants are at
increased risk for pneumococcal meningitis. Despite the highly respected US Centre for
That overall study started in 1958 to track
Disease Control (CDC) recommendations
various health factors in thousands of men and
that all cochlear implant patients receive
women. As part of that study, 126 participants
pneumococcal vaccination, many patients
underwent yearly magnetic resonance imaging
remain unvaccinated. The American Academy
This microscopic view of cells deep within the
(MRI) to track brain changes for up to 10 years.
of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery ear of a newborn mouse show in red and blue
Each also had complete physicals at the time
(AAO-HNS), in coordination with the CDC the supporting cells that surround the hair cells
of the first MRI in 1994, including hearing tests.
and FDA, has now begun a campaign to help
(green) that send sound signals to the brain. At the starting point, 75 had normal hearing,
raise awareness about the importance of New research shows that the supporting cells
and 51 had impaired hearing, with at least a
pneumococcal vaccinations, and that the can regenerate if damaged in the first days of
25-decibel loss. After analyzing their MRIs over
"Pneumo Shot" is recommended by CDC for life, allowing hearing to develop normally. This
the following years, Lin says those participants
all patients who have, or will receive cochlear
gives new clues for potential ways to restore whose hearing was already impaired had
accelerated rates of brain atrophy compared to those with normal hearing.
New but narrow
There's a cast of characters deep inside your ears- many kinds of tiny cells working together
Overall, those with impaired hearing lost
window to treat
to allow you to hear. The lead actors, called more than an additional cubic centimeter of hair cells, play the crucial role in carrying sound
brain tissue each year. Those with impaired
signals to the brain. But new research puts hearing also had significantly more shrinkage the spotlight on some of the ear's supporting
in particular regions, including the superior,
actors– and their understudies. Researchers middle and inferior temporal gyri, brain
Nov 2014 Science Network Western
from the University of Michigan and their structures responsible for processing sound
colleagues report on these cells, fittingly called
and speech. The middle and inferior temporal
supporting cells. They show that damage to the
gyri also play roles in memory and sensory
WA Neuroscientists have discovered that supporting cells in the mature mouse results in
integration and have been shown to be
tinnitus may be treatable with furosemide, the loss of hair cells and profound deafness.
involved in the early stages of mild cognitive
a drug that reduces cross-talk between the
impairment and Alzheimer's disease. "Our
cochlea and the brain. Tinnitus patients ‘hear'
But the big surprise was that if supporting cells
results suggest that hearing loss could be
distinct tones in the absence of real sounds, a
are lost in the newborn mouse, the ear rapidly
another ‘hit' on the brain in many ways," Lin
perceptual phenomenon that detrimentally regenerates new supporting cells– resulting in
explains. The study also gives some urgency to
affects their concentration, sleep and mental
complete preservation of hearing. This resulted
treating hearing loss rather than ignoring it. "If
wellbeing. The experience of tinnitus has been
from cells in an adjacent structure moving in
you want to address hearing loss well, Lin says,
linked to spontaneous firing of the auditory and transforming into full-fledged supporting
"you want to do it sooner rather than later".
nerve cells, a hyperactivity in the brain observed
Chin Med J 2008;121(16):1588-1594 Review article Statin alternatives or just placebo: an objective review of omega-3, red yeast rice and garlic in cardiovascular therapeutics Hean Teik Ong and Jin Seng Cheah Keywords: statin; omega-3, red yeast rice; garlic; cardiovascular therapeutics Objective The aim of this review is to objectively access the trial evidence on the role of omega-3, red yeast rice and garlic in preventing clinical cardiovascular events. Given the large number of clinical trials favoring statin use in cardiovascular disease, it is important to see if evidence is available for these supplements and whether they could replace statin therapy. Data source A PubMed search was conducted using the keywords ‘trial, omega-3, red yeast rice, xuezhikang, garlic, cholesterol, cardiovascular, outcomes'; the resulting trials were reviewed together with the references quoted in the papers obtained. Study selection The studies selected are prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled studies with predefined clinical cardiovascular end-points recruiting at least 2000 patients, with a follow-up over 2 years. Results Modest dose omega-3 fatty acid has been shown in GISSI-P (11 324 patients, follow-up 3.5 years) to produce a reduction in sudden death of 45%, and in cardiac death of 35%, acting probably via an anti-arrhythmic effect. In JELIS (18 645 patients, follow-up 4.6 years), high dose omega-3 given to Japanese patients on a high fish diet and already on statin treatment produced further benefit with a 19% reduction of nonfatal cardiovascular outcomes; fatal cardiac events are not affected. CCSPS (4870 patients, follow-up 4 years), a secondary prevention trial using xuezhikang, a commercial red yeast rice preparation, produced a 46% reduction in nonfatal myocardial infarction and coronary death. There has been no trial to show that garlic reduces clinical cardiovascular outcomes. A rigorous trial with constant assessment of chemicals in the study material in 192 patients found that over a 6-month follow-up, raw garlic and 2 commercial preparations do not significantly affect lipid levels. Conclusions Omega-3 in modest doses reduces cardiac deaths, and in high doses reduces nonfatal cardiovascular events. Red yeast rice reduces adverse cardiac events to a similar degree as the statins. It is unlikely that garlic is useful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Journal ofApplied Ichthyology J. Appl. Ichthyol. 27 (2011), 796–798 Received: March 28, 2010 2011 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin Accepted: December 18, 2010 Eﬀects of the prebiotics Immunoster and Immunowall on growth performance ofjuvenile beluga (Huso huso) By R. TaÕati1, M. Soltani2, M. Bahmani3 and A. A. Zamini4 1Department of Fisheries, Islamic Azad University, Talesh Branch, Talesh, Iran; 2Department of Aquatic Animal Health, Faculty ofVeterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran; 3International Sturgeon Research Institute, Rasht, Iran; 4Department ofFisheries, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan Branch, Lahijan, Iran