Huge breakthrough could cure hearing loss
(Morning Ticker) In a stunning new development, scientists from the University of California may have found an innovative new way to treat hearing loss, a problem that affects millions of people and two thirds of people over 70 years of age.
The discovery could eliminate the need for hearing aids and other devices for those who struggle with hearing.
The study focuses on neurons, which scientists believe is the wiring that allows hearing to happen.
Over time, wear and tear causes these neurons to become damaged, and hence why most older people tend to suffer from hearing loss the most.
A way to repair and regenerate damaged hearing receptors
The holy grail has been to find some way to repair and regenerate these damaged neurons.
Researchers think this could be done using something they reportedly call “bone velcro” that acts as a molecular anchor and keeps the treatment locked onto the inner ear bone. A gel or liquid could conceivably be applied to the opening of the ear.
The full statement from the university describing the technology follows below.
Researchers at USC and Harvard have developed a new approach to repair cells deep inside the ear — a potential remedy that could restore hearing for millions of elderly people and others who suffer hearing loss.
The lab study demonstrates a novel way for a drug to zero in on damaged nerves and cells inside the ear. It’s a potential remedy for a problem that afflicts two-thirds of people over 70 years and 17 percent of all adults in the United States.
“What’s new here is we figured out how to deliver a drug into the inner ear so it actually stays put and does what it’s supposed to do, and that’s novel,” said Charles E. McKenna, a corresponding author for the study and chemistry professor at USC Dornsife …. Read the full story at Morning Ticker.