Virus cure for hearing loss


Researchers at the University of Virginia are working on curing hearing loss with an experimental new form of gene therapy.

With more than 275 million people around the world that suffer from sort of nerve-related deafness, scientists are working on creating a virus that when placed in ear tissue can regrown tiny hairs inside the ear canal.

Otolaryngologist Brad Kesser explains these very specialized hair cells convert the mechanical energy of sound into an electrical signal in the brain, which allows one to hear. Kesser says that once these cells are damaged or lost, they are lost for good.

Doctors have been working with this type of therapy for years on mice, but this is the first time they have had success with human tissue.

Researchers hope to perfect this method for patients within the next few years.

Original article on -->ABC 7 News.