- Posted June 20, 2014 by
St. Louis, MO
Research Inches Closer To Cure For Hearing Loss
Researchers are constantly working to unlock the complexities of hearing loss and our auditory system. A recent study pinpointed a specific protein in the inner ear that is essential in converting sound in the brain. The team from the Institut Pasteur in Paris and College de France set out to identify the essential connection in the inner ear that converts sounds into electrical signals.
Scientists have known that 3 types of protein (protocadherin-15) exist in the auditory sensory cells of the inner ear, but they were not sure what each type was responsible for.
In their findings published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine the French research team states that the absence or impairment of the CD2 isoform results in profound deafness in mice and humans. CD2 is the key to sound conversion. If it is abnormal or absent the hair cells do no convert sound into electrical signals for the brain to read. Now that scientists have discovered the exact point where the process is disrupted they can start working on a way to fix it.
The Researchers on this particular study say they plan to use this as a starting point for developing gene therapy strategies for deafness. This study is just one more example of how science is always at work to try and improve the lives of those with hearing loss. From advancements in hearing aid technology to alerts about the countless causes of hearing loss research in the hearing field is endless.