Hearing loss may be reversible soon

One of the most promising signs of a future without hearing loss.
Unlike birds and fish, when mammals damage the hair cells that allow the ear to hear they do not grow back. It’s why hearing loss is inevitable as we grow older and why it’s risky listening to loud music. Amazingly, multiple studies are now taking steps to reverse these losses by regrowing the inner-ear hair cells. 
According to a report by The Atlantic, Dutch company Audion Therapeutics will soon begin human trials on a drug that has successfully regrown hair cells in mice. The discovery was made in 2013 when a report on the notch inhibitor used to treat dementia showed side effects of treating deafness. 
“We thought, ‘These side effects in an Alzheimer’s patient are exactly what we’re looking for in treating deafness’,” says Audion’s Dr. Albert Edge. “So we decided to try that idea out in these mice.”
The company is currently working with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to develop the compounds and has received stimulus money from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 fund. What’s most exciting of all though is Audion already has competition.
US-based start-up Frequency Therapeutics has also filed patents for a notch inhibitor used to regrow hair cells using a drug administered directly to the inner ear.
Considering these are only recently discovered treatments for something thought to be untreatable, expect a long wait before anything substantial comes to light. But these promising first steps towards a future without hear loss are unprecedented and very exciting.


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