Meningitis research in Nottingham
04 February 2003
Meningitis Research Foundation, a national charity fighting to prevent death and disability resulting from meningitis and septicaemia, is funding doctors in Nottingham to investigate childhood deafness caused by meningitis.
The three-year project, costing almost £30,000, is taking place at the Nottingham Paediatric Cochlear Implant Programme. This centre is the largest of its kind in the UK, treating children under five years of age from all over the UK and Ireland.
The team will investigate the progress in speech skills of young children who are deafened by meningitis and have had cochlear implants. These implants do not work as conventional hearing aids but produce a sensation of hearing, which then has to be interpreted by the child.
Dr Thomas Nikolopoulos, who is running the project said: "Meningitis is the biggest cause of acquired deafness in children. We hope that this project will not only enable us to identify those children who would most benefit from cochlear implants but will improve the effectiveness of cochlear implantation in these children."
Although there are vaccines, which give excellent protection against some forms of meningitis, they cannot protect against them all. Until all major forms of the disease can be prevented, hearing loss will continue to occur in children who contract meningitis. It is therefore vital that research into meningitis and septicaemia continues in order to eliminate the devastations that these diseases can cause.
Denise Vaughan, Chief Executive of Meningitis Research Foundation said, "We are delighted to be funding this research project which has the potential to improve follow up and rehabilitation of children deafened by meningitis. As the Foundation relies on voluntary donations, the funding of this project would not have been possible without the general public's generosity."
Further information about the work of Meningitis Research Foundation or about meningitis and septicaemia, can be obtained from the Foundation's Freefone 24 hour helpline - 080 8800 3344.
Read more about this project
Research Archive for the public -Long-term outcomes and linguistic ability in children deafened by meningitis who have cochlear implants
Research Archive for the scientific community - Long term outcomes and predictors in cochlear implantation of children deafened by meningitis