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Free Radic Biol Med. 2007 May 1;42(9):1454-63. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Free radical scavengers vitamins A, C, and E plus magnesium reduce noise trauma.

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1
Kresge Hearing Research Institute, University of Michigan, 1301 East Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0506, USA. colleeng@umich.edu

Abstract

Free radical formation in the cochlea plays a key role in the development of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The amount, distribution, and time course of free radical formation have been defined, including a clinically significant formation of both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species 7-10 days after noise exposure. Reduction in cochlear blood flow as a result of free radical formation has also been described. Here we report that the antioxidant agents vitamins A, C, and E act in synergy with magnesium to effectively prevent noise-induced trauma. Neither the antioxidant agents nor the magnesium reliably reduced NIHL or sensory cell death with the doses we used when these agents were delivered alone. In combination, however, they were highly effective in reducing both hearing loss and cell death even with treatment initiated just 1 h before noise exposure. This study supports roles for both free radical formation and noise-induced vasoconstriction in the onset and progression of NIHL. Identification of this safe and effective antioxidant intervention that attenuates NIHL provides a compelling rationale for human trials in which free radical scavengers are used to eliminate this single major cause of acquired hearing loss.

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