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Auditory Accomplishment or Hearing Herring? May 5, 2022

Posted by geoff in News.
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From the Cool Medical News file: looks like they’re starting to make headway in dealing with elderly hearing loss:

Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, and some cancer therapy medications and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die.

But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had previously prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing…

If that wasn’t clear, allow me to sum up. Hearing loss associated with aging is generally due to death or damage to outer ear cells. Now they’ve figured out how to turn cells into outer ear cells. So hopefully that will allow them to replace lost cells as people age, so we can dispense with our ear trumpets.

That won’t just help the elderly with their hearing – when I talked with an Alzheimer’s researcher at UCSF six years ago, she said that hearing loss can accelerate mental decline. Certainly hearing issues also lead to social isolation with all its attendant effects.

So if they can actually get this into clinical practice without taking three or four decades, it’s pretty exciting. If.

Comments»

1. jam2 - May 5, 2022

Wut?

2. Mr. Matamoros - May 6, 2022

Wha?

3. Jimbro - May 6, 2022

Huh?

4. geoff - May 6, 2022


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