STEM CELLS HELP RESTORE HEARING IN RODENTS

Sep 13, 2012

By Jane Brown

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There’s hope for older people who’ve suffered hearing loss later in life. 

British researchers say they have restored hearing in deaf rodents using human embryonic stem cells.

They say that while more study is needed, the work is a first step toward testing the technique in people with certain kinds of hearing loss.

The lead researcher, Dr. Marcel Rivolta, says the human stem cells were able to regenerate auditory nerve cells in the rodents that had been chemically damaged to leave the animals deaf.

Rivolta says testing about 10 weeks after the treatment showed electrical signals generated by sound were received by the animals’ brains.

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