Middle-Ear Infections Helped by Anti-Stroke Drug
ATLANTA, May 22 (UPI) — In a study at Georgia State University, the anti-stroke drug Vinpocetine suppressed inflammation and mucus overproduction in the middle ear, easing one of the most common types of bacterial infection found in children.
Using a topical application of the drug in animal studies, researchers found it clears the bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, which causes the inflammation and overproduction of mucus typical of otitus media, or middle ear infections, as well as reducing the hearing loss that can result from them.
“Our encouraging preliminary data suggest that the repurposed drug Vinpocetine may play a critical role in inhibiting inflammation and enhancing antimicrobial defenses in otitis media,” Dr. Jian-Dong Li, director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Inflammation and Immunity, said in a press release. “Our proposed studies may lead to developing novel, non-antibiotic therapeutic strategies to control immunopathology, reduce mucus overproduction, improve hearing loss and enhance host defense for otitis media.”
Many of the 24.5 million cases of otitis media are treated with antibiotics, a use that has led to shrinking effectiveness of the drugs when they are used in more appropriate cases. There are currently no effective non-antibiotic treatments for middle-ear infections, however.
The study is published in The Journal of Immunology.