Mil Med. 2023 Nov 8;188(Supplement_6):553-560. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usad235.
INTRODUCTION: Although hearing protection devices (HPDs) have been widely used during training and combat, over one million veterans experience service-connected hearing loss. Hearing damage has been reported to be associated with blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and there is a lack of understanding and treatment. Liraglutide is a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist and a potential treatment for TBI-induced memory deficits. This study aims to investigate the function of the liraglutide to prevent damage and facilitate hearing restoration in chinchillas exposed to multiple high-intensity, mTBI-level blasts.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Chinchillas were divided into three treatment groups: blast control, pre-blast drug treatment, and post-blast drug treatment. On day 1, the chinchilla ears were protected by HPDs and exposed to three blasts with peak pressure levels of 15-25 psi. The auditory brainstem response (ABR), distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE), and middle latency response (MLR) were recorded pre- and post-blast on day 1 and on days 4, 7, 14, and 28.
RESULTS: Substantial acute damage was observed and progressively recovered in chinchillas after the blast exposures. The pre-blast treatment group exhibited the lowest elevation of the ABR threshold and reduction of the wave I amplitude on day 1 after blasts. The liraglutide treatment insignificantly facilitated the recovery of the DPOAE levels and ABR thresholds on days 14 and 28. The pre-blast treatment chinchillas showed reduced MLR amplitudes on days 4 and 7.
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that the pre-blast liraglutide administration provided damage protection against blasts in addition to the HPDs. Current evidence suggests that the effect of liraglutide is more prominent in the early phase of the experiment.