Meniere's Disease - Study finds it is linked to Immune System Disorders.

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by CarolineJ., Apr 16, 2014.

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  1. CarolineJ.

    CarolineJ. New Member

    Rare disease of the inner ear: New insights

    Date: April 15, 2014

    Source: University of Exeter


    In the most comprehensive study of Ménière's Disease to date, researchers have been able to suggest what goes wrong in the body when people develop the disease, and provide an insight into factors that lead to its development. The analysis also showed that Ménière's patients were more likely to suffer falls and mental health problems, such as depression, than people without the condition.

    A new study has shed light on the factors likely to lead to the development of a rare condition affecting the inner ear.

    In the most comprehensive study of Ménière's Disease to date, researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have been able to suggest what goes wrong in the body when people develop the disease, and provide an insight into factors that lead to its development.

    Ménière's Disease can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo attacks and a feeling of pressure deep within the ear. Yet as a long term but non-fatal illness, it has received little attention from the scientific community -- a disheartening fact for the 160,000 sufferers in the UK.

    As such reasons for why people develop the condition and how symptoms occur have so far remained unclear, making diagnosis and treatment a difficult task.

    With funding from the UK Ménière's Society and using data from the UK Biobank, the research team analysed records from 1,376 Ménière's sufferers. They found the disease is more prevalent in females, those from white backgrounds, and older people.

    Individuals from poorer backgrounds were also found to be more likely to develop the disease, as well as those who are overweight.

    By comparing and contrasting their data with nearly half a million people without the condition, the team also discovered that Ménière's Disease is linked to immune system disorders and diseases related to the autonomic nervous system, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn's Disease and arthritis.

    Lead researcher on the project, Dr Jessica Tyrrell said: "This study has provided several advances in our understanding of Ménière's Disease. It seems likely that a dysfunctional immune system has some role in the development of the illness, and other factors, including the nervous system, are also playing a part."

    The analysis also showed that Ménière's patients were more likely to suffer falls and mental health problems, such as depression, than people without the condition.

    Natasha Harrington-Benton from the UK Ménière's Society welcomed the findings, saying: "Understanding the impact of Ménière's on people's physical and mental health is vital when providing information to people on how best to manage their symptoms. Ménière's is a condition that can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in the early stages. The more information that can be given to those affected, the better equipped they'll be to cope day-to-day."
  2. Angelea

    Angelea New Member

    Just cross-posted this to the "cure" thread, page 69, here:,37681.0.html
  3. CarolineJ.

    CarolineJ. New Member

    Good idea ... relates to SS's treatment. :)
  4. John of Ohio

    John of Ohio New Member

    But a fundamental immune system involvment question remains, unanswered yet by any who propose an immune system dysfunction cause of Meniere's.

    If the immune system is dysfunctional and thereby allows the emergence of hydrops and the other Meniere's symptoms in one ear, why, then, only in that one ear? The genetics and histology (tissue composition and structure) of both ears are immunologically identical.

    But Meniere's almost universally strikes but one ear, leaving the other with full function (at least for some varying period of time). How can the immune system work functionally and usefully in one inner ear, but not the other?

    --John of Ohio
  5. bubbagump

    bubbagump New Member

    could be a virus or a bug that the immune system could not fight off due to dysfunction, or some kind of upper cervical / nerve issue.
  6. John of Ohio

    John of Ohio New Member

    If it's a virus or other pathogen, or localized nerve or cervical vertabral cause, then it's not immunology as the root cause. Dysfunctional immunology might prevent effective control of the pathogen (whatever it might be), but the root cause is some pathogen or histological lesion.

    Fix the lesion or disrupt the pathogen (which could be a herpes virus), and the symptoms must abate in the absence of the pathogen's cause of hydrops, inflamation, etc.

    Why not go both ways: nail the pathogen (with antiherpetic drugs or lysine or both), and support the immune system with appropriate vitamins, minerals, or supplements? If Meniere's-specific vaccines are eventually developed, those would be useful, too.

    --John of Ohio
  7. poppaharley

    poppaharley Meniere's: God's answer to a free merry-go-round


    Rare disease of the inner ear: New insights>>>>>

    HALLELUJAH! I've said for years that Meniere's has deeper roots than simply one thing, and that it could be considered it as a type of immune related condition triggered by one or more of many types of viruses PLUS other conditions in the body tied to genetics, physiology and other things. I believe it's the result of a perfect storm of more than one thing.

    Last night I attended a talk by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. She has written several books about the affects of "psycho-neuro-immunology" which deals with the inner connection of emotional issues such as chronic stress affecting the nervious system which affects hormones which affects the immune system. She herself has "healed" herself from several chronic conditions which have caused her heart problems and nervous system related chronic disorders via a strict regimen of non toxic foods, meditation, supplements, and yoga coupled with, yes, some pharmacological treatment as well. However the conventional meds were NOT doing much of a job until she adopted the other parts of her regimen as well.

    She has consulted with and worked with doctors at Johns Hopkins who are true medical doctors, but who have also recognized the benefits of holistic treatment as well. For many years, psychiatrists and psychologists have felt that childhood emotional trauma, whether intense and short lived or low level and long lived, can affect mental health in adulthood. Now they are learning that childhood emotional trauma, as well as adult emotional trauma, can cause impacts to genes that in turn can affect the immune system into advanced adulthood. There are many conditions that were once considered to be caused only by certain inevitable physical issues of aging are being shown to have an emotional or pshcholigical link via the impact of long term stress on hormones and the immune system. Many conditions that were once thought to have "no known cause and no known cure" are now thought to POSSIBLY be linked to emotional factors and stress that would have a long term impact on the immune system.

    It's fairly common knowledge that people under intense stress (loss of a loved one, divorce, lose of job, etc) can suddenly develop colds, herpes outbreaks, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, etc. High stress can affect the immune system and make one more susceptible to viruses and other types of "internal or external" toxins that affect hormone balance and nervous system function. It's not a long stretch to assume that chronic long term stress could also have a similar effect just as long term low level stress can break a machine as well as short term high stress. The concept of "fatigue" has engineering as well as medical implications.

    So....given all of that and even the fact that many people with menieres (myself included) seemed to be more susceptible to vertigo attacks and other symptoms when "stressed", isn't it possible that long term stress and lowered immunity could make one more susceptible to viruses that could affedt the ears, the muscles, the organs or anything else? I still belive that one day, the "no known cause" for things like MS, menieres, type two diabetes, some cancers, etc may be replaced with "caused by long term supression of the immune system and genetic damage from chronic stress and emotional factors coupled with viral attack and the impact of environmental toxins and chemicals."

    Sorry for the dissertation from a guy who has only stopped by occassionally over the past several years.

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