Testing on mice has shown that partial hearing can be restored using drug therapy. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Iowa have been studying a molecular mechanism that underlies a form of deafness named DFNA27. Their findings suggest that a new treatment option might be available for people who are impacted by deafness.
Chief of the Laboratory of Human Molecular Genetics at the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders, and a coauthor of the study, Thomas B. Friedman, Ph.D said, “We were able to partially restore hearing, especially at lower frequencies, and save some sensory hair cells.” He went on to add, “If additional studies show that small-molecule-based drugs are effective in treating DFNA27 deafness in people, it’s possible that using similar approaches might work for other inherited forms of progressive hearing loss.”
This is welcome news for the nearly 50 million Americans who suffer from some form of hearing loss. According to the CDC, hearing loss is the third most common chronic physical condition and is twice as prevalent as diabetes or cancer.
Read the entire press release to find out the specifics of the study.