Limitation of current treatments
Currently there is no causal treatment for Menière’s disease. The only effective treatment in severe cases targets exclusively the vertigo symptoms. It aims to destroy the hair cells involved in the maintenance of balance with gentamycin, an oto-toxic drug. This treatment therefore amounts to a chemical ablation of the hair cells. Since this type of cells, albeit at a different location in the mebranous labyrinth, is also involved in hearing, the ability to hear may be irreversibly damaged, or completely lost, due to the treatment.
The other symptoms of Menière’s disease, hearing loss and tinnitus, are typically not alleviated by gentamycin treatment.
In summary, Menière’s disease lacks adequate treatments. It therefore represents a large unmet clinical need.