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Response to OKN-007 and NAC in a Patient with Unilateral Hearing Loss and Chronic Tinnitus from Vestibular Schwannoma.

BACKGROUND: Tinnitus is the perception of sound in the absence of external acoustic stimulation. Being one of the most common diseases of the ear, it has a global prevalence ranging from 4.1 to 37.2%. To date, it has been difficult to treat tinnitus as its pathophysiology is poorly understood and there are limited treatment options.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of OKN-007 (also known as HPN-07), a nitrone-based investigational drug, in combination with oral N-acetylcycsteine (NAC), for the treatment of hearing loss and chronic tinnitus under an individual expanded access protocol.

PATIENT CASE: We report the case of a patient who presented with left-sided ear fullness, mild tinnitus, and mild high frequency sensorineural hearing loss with 100% word recognition. A large enhancing mass seen on MRI revealed a vestibular schwannoma. He underwent subtotal resection of the tumor resulting in a moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss and catastrophic tinnitus. The patient was treated with intravenous OKN-007 at 60 mg/kg dosed three times per week and oral NAC 2500 mg twice daily.

RESULTS: Post-treatment audiometric testing revealed an average of 16.66 dB in hearing threshold improvement in three frequencies (125, 250 and 500 Hz) with residual hearing in the affected left ear. His tinnitus loudness matching improved from 90 dB to 19 dB post-treatment. His Tinnitus Handicap Inventory improved from 86/100 (Catastrophic) to 40/100 (Moderate). He also experienced improvements in sleep, concentration, hearing, and emotional well-being, and reported significantly decreased levels of tinnitusrelated distress.

CONCLUSIONS: This case report highlights the feasibility and therapeutic potential of the combination of OKN-007 and NAC in treating hearing loss and tinnitus that warrants further investigation.

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