According to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the cocktail of molecules was able to reprogram the genetic pathways in the inner ears of mice to regrow hair cells.
The inner ear hairs amplify vibrations into the brain in order to be detected, but when they are damaged, say from loud noises or music, they cannot be regrown in humans. This then causes hearing loss.
Speaking on the new medical findings, Zheng-Yi Chen, a Harvard Medical School associate professor of otolaryngology, stated, “These findings are extremely exciting because throughout the history of the hearing loss field, the ability to regenerate hair cells in an inner ear has been the holy grail. We now have a drug-like cocktail that shows the feasibility of an approach that we can explore for future clinical applications.”
Hearing loss affects about 430 million people worldwide. Researchers hope that using the drug cocktail in a surgical procedure along with gene therapy could help cure many types of hearing loss.
To learn how to prevent hearing loss, check out the video from Mayo Clinic below: