Imperial College London Healthcare NHS Trust and Leicester University Hospitals NHS Trust with support from the Meniérè's Society UK is conducting a clinical research trial on treating
recurring unilateral (one-sided) Meniérè's disease
Meniérè's disease treatment
Meniérè's disease is charactersied by recurrent attacks of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus and aural fullness. Due to the recurrent, unpredictable, nature of the attacks, Meniérè's disease can be debilitating and severely affect quality of life. Oral drugs like betahistine can markedly improve symptoms. However, in some cases, oral drugs do not help. In such circumstances, an injection of either gentamicin or a steroid is the next step, but presently, we do not know which drug is the most effective at reducing the recurrent vertigo.
Who are we recruiting?
We are recruiting people with unilateral (one-sided) Meniérè's disease who suffer from repeated attacks of vertigo even after at least 6 months of other treatment including betahistine. We are recruiting in 2012. People with other balance-related disorders cannot be recruited.
What is the purpose of the clinical trial?
Transtympanic (through the ear drum) gentamicin injections are the standard treatment for severe Meniérè's disease resulting in repeated episodes of vertigo even after oral treatment. Although gentamicin injections are very effective in controlling vertigo, gentamicin can sometimes cause hearing deterioration in about one-in-five patients, and profound hearing loss in one-in-ten. Recently, there has been an increased use of steroid injections which aren't believed to affect hearing and claim to have similar control of vertigo in Meniérè's disease. However, there is no evidence to prove this.
What is the aim of the clinical trial?
We wish to compare the two drugs (gentamicin and steroid), to establish whether steroids are as effective as gentamicin at controlling vertigo. We also wish to monitor audio-vestibular (audiological tests and balance tests) over two years to see what other effects the drugs have on overall function.