Modulating inner ear fluid regulation to treat Meniere’s disease
Principal Investigator: Kevin Grimes, MD
Disease: Meniere’s disease
Research Description: Meniere’s disease affects approximately 600,000 patients in the United States alone, yet there is no cure for this disease. Patients with Meniere’s disease experience debilitating attacks of vertigo, tinnitus and progressive hearing loss. There is a clear need for more effective therapeutics that can be used acutely to halt these debilitating attacks. One hypothesis for the cause of Meniere’s disease is excess body fluids in an inner ear compartment called the endolymphatic sac (ES). Currently, there are no treatments shown to reduce the fluid in the ES. To target the inner ear fluid regulation system in Meniere’s patients, Dr. Grimes will repurpose an FDA approved drug that alters water homeostasis and is currently used to treat patients with low sodium levels. In this preclinical project, the research team will use a mouse model to determine if this repurposed drug has the potential to interrupt or lessen the frequency of Meniere’s attacks. Positive results from this study would be the basis for clinical trials using aquaretics such as tolvaptan to improve the quality of life of Meniere’s disease patients.
Funding Partners: Becky and Lester Knight
CWR funding role: Primary funder