WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Healing Hearing Loss

By: Jummy Olabanji Email
By: Jummy Olabanji Email

June 15, 2007

Hearing loss is the number one disability in the world. A team at the University of Virginia recently made significant strides in finding a cure for this disorder.

Dr. Jeffery Holt and his colleague at IVA, Dr. Bradley Kisser, have been working towards a cure for the past three years.

They first ran tests on lab mice and then moved on to human tissue.

"Now by looking at human tissue now we can see by what we've learned there is going to be director applicable to treating deafness in the future," said Holt.

They took the human inner ear tissue and grew it in a lab dish.

Then they searched for one of the one-hundred human genes associated with hearing loss.

"The next step after figuring that out was to see if we could put genes back into this tissue, the long term objective would be to take the correct copy of the gene and put it into the tissue and restore hearing function in a patient who has genetic hearing loss," said Holt.

After years of hard work, they got the answer they were looking for.

Holt said, "We use the correct copy and then put those vectors into the sensory cells of the inner ear and show that the correct gene is then present and expressed."

Dr. Holt says many times patients without the ability to hear experience social isolation, which often times leads to disorders like depression.

"So by restoring function we would hope that we could really restore quality of life for these patients," said Holt.

The team was able to perform this research through funding grants from the National Institutes of Health and private donations.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we only ask that you use your best judgment. E-mail is required, but will not be displayed with comment.

  • Comments cannot be profane or vulgar. We will not post comments that use profanity or cross the lines of good taste.
  • We will not post comments that use hate speech. Slurs, stereotypes and violent talk aren’t welcome on our website.
  • Comments should not attack other readers or people featured in our stories personally. Any accusations should be backed up with facts.
  • Any comment we post will be posted in its entirety. We do not edit any comment that we post.
     
  • Comments should contribute to the discussion. We will not post comments that don't advance the discussion. Flaming and/or trolling will not be tolerated.
     
  • Comments should not attack other posters. Let's keep the focus on the content of the story.

    As a host Newsplex.com welcomes a wide spectrum of opinions. However this is a site that we host. We have a responsibility to all our readers to try to keep our comment section fair and decent. For that reason The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.

    If you have any ideas to improve the conversation or this section let us know. Send an e-mail to webmaster@newsplex.com.

 

powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 8027677