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Research groups studying different types of hearing loss have gained new insight into its causes and possible treatments from experiments using mice. One group, led by Zheng-Yi Chen (Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA), investigated age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), the two most common forms of deafness. Both are caused by the irreversible loss of inner ear outer hair cells, and although hearing aids and cochlear implants can help some affected individuals, they do not work for everyone, and there is no cure. Chen’s team hypothesized that ARHL and NIHL might have similar causes and set out to determine whether protecting hair cells from damage could reduce either form of hearing loss.
Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 404 (2013).
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