A $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will support Washington State University (WSU) researchers in investigating potential hearing loss side-effects from new drugs used to treat COVID-19.
- A $1.8 million grant from the NIH has been awarded to Washington State University to fund research on potential hearing side-effects from medications, specifically focusing on drugs used to treat COVID-19.
- While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 medications causing hearing loss, the study aims to explore whether the over 900 new drugs developed to combat the virus may have this side effect.
- Allison Coffin, a neuroscientist at WSU, leads the research and has expertise in medication-induced hearing loss.
- The research involves using zebrafish as a model to test the impact of medications on hearing cells. By introducing medications used to treat COVID-19 to zebrafish, researchers can identify potential damage to hearing cells or synapses.
- A machine learning model is employed to identify drugs with similar chemical properties to those known to cause hearing loss, helping narrow down the scope of the research.
- Collaborators include researchers from Creighton University, a medicinal chemist from Research Triangle International, a statistician at Ursinus College, and clinicians from Providence Medical Center/PeaceHealth in Spokane.
- The research focuses solely on COVID-19 drugs and their mechanisms related to hearing loss, excluding COVID-19 vaccinations from the study.
The grant-funded research at WSU aims to enhance our understanding of the potential hearing side-effects of COVID-19 medications, using zebrafish as a model to assess the impact on hearing cells and synapses.