Does everything seem extraordinarily loud? It could be a migraine settling in.
The connection between migraines and the auditory system has often been overlooked. But new research at Missouri State University is making a big bang.
Dr. Wafaa Kaf, audiology professor, is collaborating with Dr. Paul Durham, distinguished professor of biology and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences, to learn about the link between migraines and hearing loss.
With funding from the provost office, the multidisciplinary team purchased a piece of sophisticated equipment to complete the research on laboratory animals.
“We are recording the responses to sound from the auditory nerve and the auditory structures in their brains while the animals are under anesthesia,” Kaf said. “They showed hearing loss from sleep deprivation, meaning they could have an acute hearing loss.
“With the progress of the procedures for chronic migraine, the hearing deteriorates more.”
From this study, Kaf and Durham hope to provide the data needed to develop therapies.
Migraine sufferers needed for study
Kayleigh Putnam and Marli Sims, third-year audiology students, are recruiting participants for a parallel research project with the help of Clinvest, a research organization.
The students will evaluate hearing during an initial visit with participants, while they do not have a migraine.
Then, when a migraine episode strikes, participants will visit the clinic for a second test.
“We’re monitoring changes in their hearing and their inner ear status,” Putnam said. “We’re also looking to see if they have sensitivity to sounds.”
To volunteer for the MSU migraine study, contact Clinvest at 417-883-7889. Participants will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.