Musicians and passionate event attendees face a big problem, and that is hearing loss.
If you don’t take precautions and wear ear protection then you’re running the risk of damaging the fine hairs in your inner ear that make hearing the sweet sound of music possible.
MusicTech reports that scientists at Harvard Medical School have said they’ve discovered a method of regenerating those hair cells found in the inner ear. The team of scientists claims they’ve curated a “drug cocktail” of molecules that is capable of regenerating them.
Now, the team is hoping that their studies will begin to lay the foundations for clinical trials in the future. The Harvard website notes that hair cells cannot be regenerated naturally in mammals, and effective hearing loss treatments for humans have eluded medicine as a result.
The research team lead and HMS associate professor led Zheng-Yi Chen said in a statement, “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,”
Zheng-Yi continues to say, “We now have a drug-like cocktail that shows the feasibility of an approach that we can explore for future clinical applications.”
Is this finally a cure for hearing loss?
Zheng-Yi says he and his colleagues are frequently contacted by people who are desperate for effective treatments after suffering from hearing loss.
Chen says “If we can combine a surgical procedure with a refined gene therapy delivery method, we hope we can achieve our number one goal of bringing a new treatment into the clinic.” Chen has also said that drug therapy would have to be introduced to the inner ear to regenerate the hair cells.
This new development will hopefully offer a solution to hearing loss, but the team is testing on larger animals before beginning clinical trials on humans.