Research Aims To Find Help for Most Prevalent Sensory Deficit, Says Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, a professor in the Institute of Neuroscience of the University of Nevada at Reno, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health and is currently undertaking a new study on age-induced hearing loss and reversal strategies. Age-related hearing loss (ARHL) is the most prevalent sensory deficit; 30 percent of those older than 65 have some hearing loss. As people live longer ARHL is expected to have an increasingly significant impact on daily life, says Dr. Yamoah.
The study is examining the synaptic and neural structures of the inner ear, as well as the neural plasticity, or the ability of neural networks to change in response to changes at the neurites of spiral ganglion neurons. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah administers the study, which includes a team of researchers from various fields, including physiology, genetics, and cell biology. The study includes three projects to test the hypothesis that the tissue lining the alimentary canal (or epithelia) undergo structural changes that allow high-potassium endolymph leakage into the perilymph or extracellular fluid within the inner ear. The hypothesis is that this leakage triggers depolarization of mechanically sensitive hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons and increased degeneration of intercellular messengers, synapses, and neurons, says Dr. Yamoah. The study team also believes that neural and synaptic alterations at the periphery will mediate cellular changes. The study also will assess new therapeutic targets for the treatment of ARHL, Dr. Yamoah says.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has conducted several studies related to ARHL and made several presentations on his stem cell research, seeking to regenerate the inner ear’s hair cells to restore hearing. In November 2018, Dr. Yamoah presented at the University of Iowa Neuroscience Seminar Series. His topic was “Oddments of K+ Channel Functions in Hair Cells and Auditory Neuron Properties that Shape the Speed of Hearing.”
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah is a physiology professor and director of cell biology in the School of Medicine communication science program at UNR Reno. He earned his Ph.D. and MD degrees in neuroscience from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, in 1991. In addition to the ARHL study, he is currently studying calcium-dependent functions in hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons. The National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders funds that study.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah also has served nationally in many organizations, including as member and chair for the minority program at the Association of Research in Otolaryngology, a member of the publication committee of ARO, and a member and chair of NIH study sections and special emphasis panels.