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Friday, April 25, 2014

Gene Therapy can make the Deaf hear music

Scientists create a breakthrough that allows people with hearing impairment or hearing loss can listen to music. Gene therapy is the first time carried out by researchers from the Australian University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Cochlear implant plus Gene Therapy could restore hearing to the Deaf. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1lIhhab)
As reported by ABC News on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, this study revealed that the regenerative gene therapy successfully regrow the auditory nerve. Thus, this treatment effectively creates a voice for people with deafness.

By providing electric pulses from cochlear implants (bone channels that circular and conical) through the sense of hearing, this breakthrough brings hope to millions of people around the world who have a hearing loss.

This therapy also allows someone who suffers with hearing detects the tone of voice is more complex. This research was published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.
The team implanted “bionic ears” in deaf guinea pigs, whose auditory systems are very similar to humans’. With the device, then, they delivered DNA that coded for a protein called brain-derived neruotrophic factor (BDNF), which encourages nerves to grow. The DNA was taken up by cells in the cochlea and, after two weeks, the nerves had grown significantly toward the electrodes. When the guinea pigs’ hearing was tested they found that animals that were once completely deaf had their hearing restored to almost normal levels. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1lIhhab)
This therapy is also expected to be applicable for the treatment of various neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease and psychiatric conditions such as depression. "People with cochlear implants do well to understand speech, but their perception of the tone can be poor, so they often lose the enjoyment of music," explains Gary Housley, a senior author and UNSW professor.

Researchers hope that, after further research, the people who rely on cochlear implants will be able to enjoy the sound with a wider dynamic tone. "It's very important for our senses, about the world around us and listening to music appreciation," said Housley. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | ABC NEWS]
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