Buchman named new head of otolaryngology​

Craig A. Buchman, MD, a nationally recognized leader in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, has been named head of the Department of Otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. He replaces Richard A. Chole, MD, PhD, who, after leading the department for 17 years, is stepping down to focus on research and patient care.

Don’t ignore kids’ snores

Snoring is common in children, but in some cases it can be a symptom of a serious health concern called pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA occurs in one out of five children who snore and can begin at any age, according to Allison Ogden, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology.

Two drugs protect hearing better than one

Whether on a battlefield, in a factory or at a rock concert, noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common hazards people face. Jianxin Bao, PhD, and other researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a low-dose, two-drug cocktail that reduces hearing loss in mice when given before they are exposed to loud noise.

Kids with hearing loss in one ear fall behind in language skills

By the time they reach school age, one in 20 children have hearing loss in one ear. That can raise significant hurdles for these children, say the results of a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, because loss of hearing in one ear hurts their ability to comprehend and use language. 

Rodeo bull goes head-to-head with zoo dolphins in a study of balance

Dolphins, whales and porpoises have extraordinarily small balance organs, and scientists have long wondered why. In a head to head comparison of two dolphins and a rodeo bull, Washington University School of Medicine researchers have contradicted the leading explanation for these undersized organs and left the door open for new theories.

Antibiotic found to protect hearing in mice

A type of antibiotic that can cause hearing loss in people has been found to paradoxically protect the ears when given in extended low doses in very young mice. The surprise finding came from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who looked to see if loud noise and the antibiotic kanamycin together would produce a bigger hearing loss than either factor by itself.

Bacterial biofilms may be source of recurrent tonsillitis

Richard CholeInfection of the tonsils, or tonsillitis, is one of the most common infectious diseases of childhood. More than 400,000 tonsillectomies are performed annually in the U.S., making it one of the most common surgical procedures involving children. Prior to surgery, pediatricians prescribe antibiotics, and children get better, but infections can return in a pattern that repeats itself until the doctor — or the frustrated parents — finally decide that the tonsils must come out. Now researchers, led by Richard A. Chole, M.D., Ph.D., Lindburg Professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, have discovered that bacteria often form biofilms in the wet and warm folds of the tonsils, and that these may serve as reservoirs of repeated infection. Recent evidence has linked biofilms to a variety of persistent infections.