Gene Therapy Set to Make A Deaf Ear Singing

The days are not faraway, if an Oregon team is to be believed, when one can see a deaf listening to the chart busters and enjoying symphonies and we may ,also, see them dancing to many tunes.

Most probably, dancing to the tunes of a certain gene, which the scientists believe can bring back the lost hearing ability.

The scientists have shown success in reproducing cochlear hair cells. These cells are efficient converters of sound waves into electric signals. These signals after reaching brain turn into things what we hear or listen to.

Any damage to these hair cells lead to hearing impairment. These hair cells are mostly damaged by the continuous and elongated exposure to harsh and loud noise.

The medical professionals, once completely clueless, had been trying hard to come up with solution to bring an end to this damage. The recent breakthrough has shown many ray of hopes to millions of hearing impaired around the globe.

The experiment, on an unborn mouse, by the medical experts of Oregon Health and Science University became fruitful when it converted a different cell into a specific cochlear hair cell. The team is led by John Brigande.

They performed the gene therapy , on that unborn mouse, using a harmless virus. The key genes,Atoh1, related to hearing ability, were inserted into cells to produce the cochlear hair cells .

The experts found the newly developed cells no less useful than the natural cochlear hair cells . As the hearing ability of the mouse was found pretty normal.

However, the therapy still not done on a human, is the first of its gene therapy helpful to reproduce or repair cochlear hair cells.

Significantly, if this therapy comes favorable, the use of any mechanical or electrical devices can be forbidden in the treatment of damaged cochlea.

Moreover, seeing the result of the early experiments, it is very likely that it will work on humans too. That's why the researchers at Oregon said, "This capability is a crucial first step in defining translational therapies to ameliorate the effects of inner-ear disease in humans."

At present, the only treatment for hear loss, cochlear implant, is not capable of bringing back the hearing to its normalcy. It provides only a minimized version of the sound sensations.

Hopefully, the deaf will have their hearing days back with the normal and maximized sound sensations, may be very soon.

No comments: