Auditory/vestibular neurodegeneration in occupational hazards and neurotrauma such as blast induced traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accidents.
Vijaya Prakash Krishnan Muthaiah, PhD, is a physical therapist by training, and because of his passion in translational research, completed inter-disciplinary graduate studies in anatomy-molecular biology.
Currently at the UB Brain Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, Dr. Muthaiah’s research investigates on how neurotrauma and occupational hazards (especially noise exposure) affects inner ear and respective higher centers of brain thereby focusing on auditory and vestibular neurodegeneration using both pre-clinical animal models and human subjects. His research is supported by three years post-doctoral training on occupational noise/heavy metal toxicity at the UB's Center for Hearing and Deafness, and two years post-doctoral training on moderate noise at Purdue University's Department of Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences.
Occupational hazards or traumatic insults such as acoustic trauma, ischemia or toxic chemicals damages the inners ear (cochlea and vestibular end organs) resulting in clinical manifestations such as hearing loss, balance disorders, cochlear synaptopathy, dizziness, vertigo. At BPNL, Dr. Muthaiah seeks to explore the plastic changes and mechanism of neurodegeneration at peripheral and cortical level, how it impairs the information processing from the perspectives of cellular and systems neuroscience. Insights from these studies facilitates the identification and validation of therapeutic targets and development of integrated rehabilitation approach for patients suffering from impairment of sensory and sensorimotor integration.
At present, Dr. Muthaiah’s research on “Potential of inhibition of poly ADP-ribose polymerase as a therapeutic approach in blast-induced cochlear and brain injury” is supported by funding from General Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons International through 2019 Emerging Research Grants of Hearing Health Foundation.