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Scientists are researching human hearing loss reversal

Project REGAIN is in motion

  • Valerie Lee
  • 20 July 2016

It's an unfortunate truth that the countless nights we've all spent too close to speakers and up too late at rambunctious clubs more often than not have probably left us with hearing loss.

According to The Atlantic, more than a third of seniors suffer from moderate hearing loss (if not more severe) and in the modern day, there's never yet been a medical cure available besides the temporary relief of hearing aid technology.

Irreparable hearing loss is a commonality shared amongst all mammals, while luckier birds and vertebrates like fish and frogs actually possess a genetic make up that allow them to naturally regenerate damaged sensory hair cells in their inner ears.

In 2013, a group of scientists researching dementia accidentally stumbled upon the discovery of a molecule that was able to "regrow" new hair cells within the cochlea, a part of the inner ear.

A Dutch company called Audion Therapeutics has now jumped off from where the original group of scientists left off and are working on formally developing research on the possible regrowth of human ear hair cells. The venture has been dubbed 'Project REGAIN' and has secured funding from European Union’s Horizon 2020, allowing Audion to move ahead on small, human clinical trials.

It will likely be several years before results of the study can be applied to hearing loss patients, but the future is bright.

[Via: The Atlantic]

Valerie Lee is Mixmag's US Digital Editor. Follow her on Twitter here

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