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tv   Vital Signs with Dr. Sanjay Gupta  CNN  October 10, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm PDT

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else, unquote. trayvon martin's mother is among those who were attending the event. thanks for spending part of your day with me. i'm martin savidge. "vital signs" with dr. sanjay gupta starts right now. i'll see you tomorrow. ♪ it's the most common sensory disorder affecting 360 million people worldwide. today, we're talking about hearing loss and sound. this is "vital signs." our ears are made up of three main parts. the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. the smallest bones in your body are actually located in your
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middle ear. they're called oscicles. it's this fragile, complicated system. and while some people are born profoundly deaf. hearing loss for many people happens over time from reasons like disease, age, or damage to the auditory system. but deafness doesn't stop people like darren coleman. he's breaking down the sound barrier. saturday morning on a military base outside tacoma, washington. 450 kids. dozens of coaches and three professional football players from the nfl have all gathered for a camp. >> you all ready? >> derek coleman is a fullbak for the seattle seahawks. he also holds a unique place in the nfl record books.
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derek is the third deaf player in nfl history and the first to play offense in the league. >> on a scale of ten, normal people range from 7, 8, 9. without my earring aids, i'm one, two. >> one in every two cases of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes. his parents have normal hearing, but they are each missing a hearing gene. it resulted in a decline in derek's hearing. by the time he was 3 years old, he was almost deaf. >> just who i am some people, i say i'm born with it. i don't remember not having it. he not been able to remember being able to hear. and he remembers the first time he ever played football in middle school where he finally found the place he belonged.
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and it made me understand the world a lot better. and it's in between these white lines, you know, that's all that matters. if you have a disability or letting that disability affect your performance. or you're making excuses -- i don't want to make excuses for this. i don't want to do that, i just want to play. >> but football for derek almost never happened. his parents worried the football could do damage to his ears and hearing aids. showed the structure in his ears would withstand the hits. there was one more critical obstacle he needed to figure out, communicating on the field.
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he perfected lip reading. >> the biggest challenge and the only challenge, really, i faced was making sure the quarterback knows i'm there. >> trying to fit in standing out for all the right reasons. he played college football at ucla graduated with a degree in political science. he had caught the attention of the nfl. first with the minnesota vikings and then pete carroll of the seattle seahawks. on september 8th, 2013, he played his first regular season game as a professional football player. >> and i ended up getting three catches for 30 yards, which was crazy. i didn't think i was going to touch the ball. >> derek's success was making local headlines of the seahawks
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march toward the super bowl in 2013. but it was an unexpected opportunity that would change everything. >> they told me it couldn't be done. that i was a lost cause. >> this battery commercial first aired in january 2014 right before a seahawks playoff game. it became a viral sensation. >> that commercial basically let me know that i'm not alone. everything. everybody have problems. everybody picking each other up. no excuses for letting your brother fall down. >> no excuses, two words derek
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has lived by his entire life. he's written a book by the same title, and it is the message he's hoping to convey to the kids at his camp in washington. >> good job. out of the 450 plus kids signed up, 85 of them have special needs. but they aren't singled out, and that's by design. >> you've got to blend in. like i said, we all have problems, but, you know, they got to learn how to interact with society. and there's somebody out there in society that wants to help them. >> not seeing a difference between the deaf and the hearing, it's the same idea that inspired a researcher to change what we've known about language in the brain. for more than 100 years. >> vital signs with dr. sanjay gupta is brought to you by dubai health care city. strategic partnerships for better health. we got the new tempur-flex and
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our senses help us perceive the world around us. a certain smell or sound can trigger some of our deepest memories. when it comes to hearing, the entire auditory system relies on tiny little hairs in your ears. they pick up the vibrations from your eardrum and convert them to nerve impulses. that's the message your brain receives. for more than 100 years, it was believed that brain tissue in this region was intended to process sound and sound only. that was until dr. laura began her work focusing not on sound and speech, but on language. and what she found was revolutionary. >> at first glance, it might not look like much, but what this baby is doing is changing the way we think of language and the brain. this little boy is babbling in sign language. >> i think we all agree there's
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something extraordinary and magical about human language. >> she's a cognitive neuroscientist. she's dedicated her life's work to understanding language. it all started with a chimpanzee named nim. >> they said that the reason that makes us different is that we talk. and animals can't talk. well, i thought that was so strange because if you see me working with the chimpanzee, there's something that's very striking. i wasn't trying to teach him how to talk english, i was trying to teach him american sign language. and so that really was the beginning of my question. how is it that we are different? >> she's spent four decades asking and answering questions about speech and language. >> today she runs the language department. it is the world's only
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university specifically for deaf and hard of hearing students. it's a unique setting, perfectly matched for her unique research. in her lab, pettito and her graduate students work with a special machine she helped design. it's called the fners. faster, quieter and more portable version of the machine. she needed a way to look at the infants. >> and this is quite an extraordinary, new microscope into the brain. it also allows the baby to engage in more naturalistic behaviors. they can look, they can turn their head. they can move their hands. and this was very exciting. >> remember that baby babbling in sign language? well, pettito found that babies exposed to sign language hit the same developmental milestones as babies exposed to speech. for example, the first word and
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first sign both come around 12 months. that meant something was happening in the brain unique to language. not speech. whether through signing or speaking, the brain simply wanted the patterns of language. but for more than 100 years, it was universally accepted that a certain part of the brain, was intended specifically to process sound. >> and we gave profoundly deaf people while they were inside our brain scanner phonetic units, but in signs. these were bits and pieces of signs that had no meaning. they're like, if i said to you, ba, ta, ga, ta. and there what we found is that profoundly deaf people exposed to sign language were having extraordinary activity in just that tissue that had been thought to be the exclusive to
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the processing of sound. it raised questions, how is it possible? why didn't that tissue in a deaf person become atrophied? and our conclusions were there was a mistake, that science had misunderstood the function of this tissue. >> the research also showed early exposure to a visual language, like american sign language did not undermine a baby's ability to learn spoken language. in fact, pettito says, it's just the opposite. >> early exposure to sign language is by far the most healthy thing we can do for the human brain. because the brain, the brain doesn't care about modality. it doesn't care if you give it the hands or the tongue. >> no matter how it's expressed, communication is really what language is all about.
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a little boy and his family were fully prepared for a life spent communicating through sign language. offering a second chance for deaf children. >> wow, you're fast. that's why at&t is giving you 50% more data. that's 15 gigs of data for the price of 10. because the more data you have, the better. and right now at at&t get $300 credit for every line you switch when you trade in a smartphone and buy any smartphone on at&t next.
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it's gotten squarer. over the years. brighter. bigger. thinner. even curvier.
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but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. for many who are deaf, cochlear implants have been a big breakthrough for the past 30 years. unlike a traditional hearing aid, which amplifies sound, cochlear implants have both external and internal components that work together to help perceive sound. it provides direct stimulation to the auditory nerve in the inner ear. people who are profoundly deaf and can't be helped by hearing aids can often be helped by cochlear implants. but there is another group who can't be helped by either one. and that's why a clinical trial in california is providing some
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much-needed help. by passing the ear altogether and going straight to the source. >> run, run, run. >> meet caden moran, he's 5 years old and curious about the world around him. being profoundly deaf hasn't slowed him down one bit. >> caden was born before we left the hospital, we did the newborn hearing screening. and he had failed, so we came back a week later. did the test again, he failed again. >> tommy and danielle moran are the parents. tommy is in the united states navy based in hawaii. at the time doctors confirmed baby caden was deaf, tommy was deployed. >> i was sad. >> i didn't know sign language. i didn't know how to be a good dad and raise a deaf child.
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>> their youngest son bret is 2 and has normal hearing like his parents. but caden was born without the part of the ear that converts nerve impulses to sound. without that, a cochlear implant would be no help. so from the start, they learned sign language. they figured it would be the only way caden would communicate. then danielle heard of another option. >> it was random. i was just talking to a friend and she was like, i think they're doing avis in the u.s. now. >> it stands for auditory brain stem implant. i like calling it a bionic ear. >> mark krieger at children's hospital in los angeles. in conjunction with usc's school of medicine, a clinical trial was started in 2014 to perform
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auditory brain stem implants on young children. here's how it works. similar to a cochlear implant, it has external and internal parts. a microphone and transmitter on the head converts sounds from the outside world into electrical signals. those signals are transmitted to the internal receiver made up of electrobes. bypassing the inner ear completely. >> by putting this electrode directly into the hearing centers of the brain, it is taking stuff and using the brain the way it's designed to work. and the brain itself in a very young child is able to grow and develop around this implant. >> caden was chosen as the fourth patient for the trial. in january of 2015, he underwent brain surgery to implant the device. dr. krieger was one of three surgeons performing the
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operation. dr. eric wilkinson was another. >> going to take a look at the implant. his scar is actually really nicely healing up. >> dr. wilkinson is one of the lead investigators on this abi trial. children's hospital of los angeles and the university of southern california aren't the first to be performing auditory brain stem implants. surgeons in italy have been doing this procedure for more than ten years. but this trial is the only fda approved one in the united states. funded by the national institutes of health. >> you want that? you can have -- >> they are also focusing on one particular age group. >> good job, buddy. >> we know from cochlear implant studies that the earlier that the auditory system in the brain can be stimulated, the better the children will do. in our study, we actually have the ages of two through five.
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doing it at an age the child will benefit from the device. >> turning 5, one month after his surgery. the operation was a success, but the work is only just beginning. caden spent his entire young life with absolutely zero auditory input. it will take years of work to train his brain to understand and interpret sounds. >> this video is from march 2015. that's when caden's device was activated. and this is what happened when he heard his grandfather for the first time. >> hi. >> grandpa. >> an incredible moment and a promising start. caden now goes to therapy several times a week to work on his speech and hearing. >> and i'm going to raise up his
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upper level of stimulation a little bit on some of these electrodes. >> when we first saw him after he received the implant for initial stimulation, we were amazed and delighted at how well he responded. not all children know what that sound is to begin with and don't always respond to it immediately. but he did. >> margaret winter is an audiologist with the family center in los angeles. she and co-worker jamie glader have been working with caden and the abi patients since day one. the moran family is at the clinic today for the three-month follow-up. through a series of tests that are disguised as games, margaret and jamie monitor frequencies and volumes to see what caden can hear through his implant. for example, caden knows he can't add another leg to the table he's building until he hears a sound. >> wow. you're fast. >> imagine a newborn baby
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doesn't come into the world with the ability to understand what sound is or that it should be meaningful. and so over time with all of the things that we do with babies, we're going to be doing with children who have hearing aids or cochlear implants or abis. >> for now, caden still relies primarily on sign language. but he's already repeating certain sounds. and he's becoming increasingly vocal. >> oh, listen. >> baby. >> baby. >> one more. >> keep in mind, he's only been able to hear any sound at all for three months. >> get ready. >> here's a loud one. all right. >> if he could hear noises like a car coming when he's a kid playing. having him hearing something like that save his life, i'd be happy with that. i'm proud because such a young boy that he is, the things that
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he has to deal with and overcome that i didn't have to, and i think it's going to build a lot of character. i already see that in him. i'm proud of him for just sticking to it. >> hearing is a gift. along with our other senses, an incredible function of our bodies. that doesn't need deafness is a curse. just ask super bowl champion derek coleman or the ph.d. students whose research is changing the way we understand learning, language, and development. like dr. pettito says. people might discriminate between spoken language and sign language, but the brain does not. it's hard to argue with that. for "vital signs," i'm dr. sanjay gupta. (vo) what does the world run on?
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top of the hour, i'm poppy harlow in new york. and we begin this hour in turkey where two bomb blasts ripped through a peace rally. in the capital of ankara this morning. at least 97 people killed in the attack, more than 400 at this point, we know, have been injured. this is the deadliest attack in the 90-plus-year history of the turkish republic. the blast was all caught on video.

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