Deaf News: Scientists believe a stem cell ‘cure’ for deafness could be 5-10 years away

Posted on November 21, 2016



According to a story in the Mirror, scientists believe that a cure for deafness could be 5-10 years away.

The story says:

Scientists believe they are on the brink of a cure for congenital deafness. Researchers have produced stem cells to correct the hereditary defect.

They have found a way of growing human cochlear cells which can be used to replace faulty ones in people deaf from birth due to a genetic error. They hope a treatment could be available to patients within five to 10 years.

Professor Kazusaku Kamiya, a specialist in ear diseases who is leading the research, which was published in the journal Stem Cell Reports, said: “I am very excited by what we have done.

“We hope this work will lead to a cure for a form of hereditary deafness. “We have found a way to make cochlear stem cells.

“The next step is to find a way to safely inject them into the patient’s ear. It is possible a therapy could be available within five to 10 years.”

The work, which is being carried out in a laboratory at Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan, aims to correct a mutation in a gene called Gap Junction Beta 2. This accounts for deafness or hearing loss for one in a thousand children.

In some parts of the world mutations of this gene are responsible for as many as half the instances of congenital hearing loss.

Read the full story here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/science/scientists-believe-found-cure-deafness-9298845

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