We’re thrilled to highlight the work spearheaded by Clinical Research Coordinators (CRCs) Mahta Marefat and Kristina Bolt. Their proposed study, Predictive Factors for the Progression from Unilateral to Bilateral Meniere’s Disease, has been awarded seed grant funding and is currently underway.
During a research strategic planning meeting, Mahta and Kristina wondered if, as CRCs, they could be better utilized. They already support the department with a great deal of admin work, but with their strong science foundations, they wondered if they could take on a project of greater magnitude. This study is a pivotal step towards giving CRCs more responsibility, research opportunities, and abilities to use the knowledge they gained in graduate school.
“We’re able to utilize the higher skills we’ve learned, such as patient recruitment and data analysis, rather than just doing the administrative approval for studies.” – Kristina Bolt
The study aims to identify key indicators of the progression of Meniere’s Disease, including the severity of migraines, hearing loss, hearing fluctuation, allergies, aural fullness, tinnitus, and vertigo. It’s also looking to explore protective factors against bilateral Meniere’s Disease, including oral steroids, IT steroids, betahistine, adherence to a low sodium/low caffeine diet, diuretics, and surgical treatments. John House, MD, has agreed to serve as the Principal Investigator on this study.
“There’s not a lot of information available about the progression from unilateral to bilateral Meniere’s, but we’re in a unique position because of the history of House. We have almost a decade’s worth of patient data and any information is beneficial. Patients have concerns, and we want this data to give them both an informed prognosis and treatment opportunities. It’s a way to give peace of mind.” – Mahta Marefat
Mahta and Kristina hypothesize that the more severe the contralateral symptoms at presentation, the more likely a patient is to progress to bilateral Meniere’s Disease (MD). We’re eager to see the results of their work during the study’s completion in the summer of 2023.