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Diagnostics

Diagnostics

Vestibular Disorientation and Space Sickness

Suzanne Nooij defended her doctoral dissertation in May 20, 2008, at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, alongside her PhD supervisor, Wubbo Eckels — the first Dutchman in space as a space shuttle passenger (1986). Nooij's dissertation topic was Space Adaptation Syndrome (SAS). SAS is experienced by up to 80% of all astronauts and usually lasts for not more than the first three days of space flight. Nooij's premise is that SAS occurs when humans experience the onset or conclusion of centrifuge-like motion (rotation) and when they adapt to different gravitational forces.

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Newborn Screenings Without Hearing Loss Risk Factors

Researchers* from Belgium recently published their prospective study of 170 consecutive neonates who failed newborn hearing screenings and were referred to their center between 1998 and 2006. Researchers estimated these findings would represent some 87,000 screenings.

Validation of screening results was accomplished using clinical ENT exams, ABR, ASSR, and other electrophysiologic tests as well as behavioral tests.

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The Brain's Electrical Architecture: New Insights

Researchers from Switzerland, Harvard, and Indiana University reported on five adult males using an MRI-based technique called diffusion spectrum imaging (DSI) to estimate the orientation and density of the bio-electrical connections throughout the brain.

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Infant Hearing Loss: Global Issues

Dr. Swanepoel (2008) reported that approximately 2,000 babies are born every day across the globe with hearing loss.

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Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders: New Screening/Diagnostic Tools

Autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) impact behaviors and abilities as well as social, emotional, and communication skills. In general, ASDs occur before the age of 3 and last across the lifespan. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) note a continuum of communication skills for those with ASDs ranging from "relatively good" verbal skills to those who do not speak at all--some 40% of those diagnosed with ASDs. CDC reports that some children with ASD may acquire spoken words at 12 to 18 months of age and then lose them.

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AHRQ Recommends Newborn Hearing Screenings for All

As of July 2008, the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality (AHRQ), a division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, recommends hearing screenings for all newborns.

The ARHQ and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) have given this recommendation a Level B endorsement (Level A = strongly recommended, Level B = recommended, Level C = no recommendation, Level D = not recommended, Level I = insufficient evidence to make a recommendation).

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Greater Satisfaction When Companions Participate

The spouse (i.e., significant other, primary communication partner, etc. ) of the hearing impaired patient is enormously important with regard to audiometric diagnostics and the entire aural rehabilitation process.

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Tinnitus & Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Researchers* at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) published a case study in The Laryngoscope (July 2008) that examined the use of multiple low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to help control tinnitus. Tinnitus loudness ratings were gathered pre-and-post treatment. One premise of the study was that if tinnitus was secondary to excessive neural activity, then an electrical current (induced via TMS) may activate or inhibit neural activity, potentially decreasing tinnitus.

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Children & Exercise: Not a Pretty Picture

The AMA reported (July 16, 2008) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that only one-third of the children studied had enough regular exercise to maintain a healthy body. Lack of exercise has been associated with overweight children, obese children and associated illnesses and chronic health conditions.

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Training and Education for Human Test Subject Protection

The Office for Human Research Protection (OHRP) is seeking comment (as of July 2, 2008) regarding whether OHRP should issue further guidance or implement new/additional training and education for those who conduct, review, or oversee research involving human subjects. In addition to investigators and researchers, the OHRP is seeking input and direction from, and related to, Institutional Review Boards (IRBs).

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