CHICAGO – Headphones, noise pollution and age – all this reduces hearing – in particular, damage hair cells in the ear. We are born with them and they usually thrive throughout our lives. But when some die, they are not reborn.
Now a new find can change that.
Surrounded by art and inspiration from his native Spain, Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Jaime Garcia-Anoveros, Ph.D., made the focus of the art of dance.
The music that evokes the dance can be a song or a speech. Noise stimulates hair cells to move, helping us hear.
“These cells squat and jump to make the vibration bigger. And so they raise the cells … (and) carry the cells … and then send the information to the brain. “
The outer and inner hair cells are perfectly matched.
The outer cells amplify the sound, and the inner ones send signals to the brain. If only a few are inappropriate … hearing is impaired.
Therefore, researchers from Northwestern University undertook the regeneration of hearing cells.
“You need them both to work together, otherwise you hear very badly,” Garcia-Anoveros said.
They discovered a gene to increase the volume.
“This gene called TBX-2, when taken from the outside, they form the inside. This is what we call the main regulator, ”Garcia-Anoveros said. “The presence or absence of this gene when you force a hair cell to form one or the other. … now you are creating an artificial cell in an adult’s ear. We hope we can use this gene regulator to order it to build an inner or outer hair cell. A cell that sends information to the brain, or a cell that moves in response to sound. It amplifies, amplifies the sound.
They will now introduce the gene into the ear in hopes of growing new hair cells and restoring hearing.
“The good news is that we have the tools to address this issue,” Garcia-Anoveros said.
Doctors say hearing loss is the most common degenerative disease in humans. We all lose our hearing as we age. Now that they have found a gene that helps, they are testing their theory on mice and then on humans.
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