Medicine: Sex & Hearing

That the delicate linings of the nose are influenced by sex hormones is a theory well-known to biologists. Four years ago Biochemist Hector Mortimer of Montreal's McGill University and his colleagues, Dr. Robert Percy Wright and Nobel Prize-sharer James Bertram Collip, one of the discoverers of insulin, decided to put the theory to practical use. They dropped small amounts of female sex hormone estrogen into the noses of patients who suffered from atrophic rhinitis (withering of the nasal mucous membranes). Many patients recovered. But they were amazed when one woman announced that a ringing in her ears, which had irritated...

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