SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KMOX) – A study at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield is aimed at curbing or even preventing noise-induced hearing loss.

A $2.5 million U.S. Department of Defense grant has helped Dr. Kathleen Campbell’s research. She hopes the study will prove her patented drug works in preventing hearing loss in troops.

“Very loud sounds, like M-16 weapon fire, or aircraft carriers, or your car airbag detonator, are so loud that the sound goes directly through the skull, into the inner ear and can bypass your physical hearing protector,” she said

The D-met formulation will be given to drill sergeant instructor trainees as part of phase three of the clinical studies.

As part of the study, 600 drill sergeant instructor trainees are undergoing two weeks of M-16 weapons training while firing 500 rounds, “although, if we do get FDA approval for this particular drug it could be used in a variety of settings for anyone exposed to noise,” Campbell said.

Campbell imagines a time when someone attends a concert, watches fireworks or is exposed to noise-induced hearing loss and can then go to the pharmacy to purchase a drug that would cure or eliminate the hearing loss. This would require approval of the drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


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