Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Eliminating Deafness

Researchers say advances in genetic research over the next 50 years will make most hearing loss preventable or curable. John House who leads the House Ear Institute believes it is only a matter of time before scientists are able to regenerate the cochlear hair cells that allow us to hear. After the genes responsible for age-related hearing loss are discovered, researches should be able to manipulate those genes to prevent and treat hearing lose. There is already some success at regrowing hair cells in rats. House says within the next 20 years, treatments will eliminate significant hearing loss for nearly a third of those who develop problems by age 60. Eventually, hearing loss may become an unheard-of problem.