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Electric Pulses Bring Back Hearing

Kimberly Love

Imagine a work in which hearing loss could be restored. Would hat be amazing? No more hearing aids or clunky devices that don’t always work. Imagine a time when you could hear your grandchildren tell you a story or when you could appreciate music. Remember the days you could talk without shouting or be able to hear something in a busy environment.

The hearing impaired could very possibly be a thing of the past as researchers have found ways to bring back hearing and re-stimulate nerve that have lost the ability to hear. It would mean being able to hear again when you have heard nothing for so long. The possibilities are limitless if you can regain the ability to hear once again.

The University of New South Wales in Australia have discovered such a thing. They have discovered a way to get cochlear implants to deliver new genes into the ear to regrown nerve cells through electrical pulses. It was after a five year study that focused on regenerating surviving nerves in the ear.

Cochlear implants are available now but they are unable to restore a deaf person’s hearing back to normal.

Researchers have now developed a way to use electrical pules to deliver DNA that contains brain-derived neurotrohic genes to cells. These cell then take the DNA that was delivered to them from the electrical pulses and start to produce neurotrophins.

The research that was conducted on animals should that when they applied this discovery to deaf animals that they were then able to restore hearing almost to normal levels. It was an incredible breakthrough as it showed the possibility that hearing can be improved.

At this point they have not reached human trials yet as they found that the neurotrophins only lasted a few months and then went away. The system still needs improvement but they have how that one day people who are deaf will be able to “appreciate music and hear in noisy environments.”

There are many more applications possible with this kind of technology and researchers hope that once auditory nerves are restored they can then move on to other areas such as retinal implants and deep brain stimulation which is associated with Parkinson’s Disease.

The possibilities to this new technology seems limitless and it’s an exciting breakthrough to imagine that hearing loss may be eventually abolished forever. The ability to hear helps with all other senses and for people who cannot hear it sends their whole body out of balance. This new technology will bring that balance and harmony back in place.

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