The National Temporal Bone Registry is an organization tasked with maintaining a database of temporal bone donations and donors. Why the temporal bone? What's so important about this particular part of the human anatomy?
It's All about Hearing Loss
The hearing mechanism is complex and extremely sensitive. It's susceptible to injury, disease and advancing age - all of which can take their toll on your ability to hear. But uncovering the reasons why hearing loss and other disorders of the inner ear occur is difficult.
Research on living subjects is not always a viable option because of the location of hearing mechanisms and the temporal bone. And because research is difficult if not impossible with living test subjects, research on hearing loss and balance disorders is conducted on temporal bones that have been generously and selflessly donated by individuals who recognized the importance of this vital research.
Hearing Loss Anatomy
The mechanisms that enable hearing and maintain balanced coordination are located deep within the skull, protected by the temporal bones of the skull. During life, these temporal bones and hearing mechanism are needed to hear and to protect the inner workings of the ear.
However, after death, when the hearing mechanism and temporal bones are no longer needed, these body parts are an important component in the on-going research into the causes of hearing loss and balance disorders.
Only a small portion of the temporal bone, along with the hearing mechanism is removed at death. The surgery does not, in any way, affect the appearance of the donor's face, outer ear or head. In fact, the surgery is invisible to viewers, but the contribution is one that will be felt by many in the years to come.
The National Temporal Bone Registry
Because of the generous temporal bone donations from thousands of Americans, researchers have been able to gain knowledge on hearing, balance and facial nerve problems in humans. From this knowledge new medical and surgical treatments have been developed.
To learn more about the Temporal Bone Registry and how to enroll in the program please visit: The National Temporal Bone Registry: Give the Gift of Hearing on Healthy Hearing.