Monday, February 14, 2011

Nasal Stem Cells and Hearing Problems

Nasal Stem Cells and Hearing Problems - Australian scientists have shown for the first time in mice that nasal stem cells injected into the inner ear have the potential to reverse or restore hearing during early onset sensorineural hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when hearing cells in the cochlea lose their function. Frequently inherited, and usually starting during infancy and early childhood, the condition can slow a child's development and lead to speech and language problems.

Drs Jeremy Sullivan, Sonali Pandit and Sharon Oleskevich from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, found that stem cells appear to release 'factors', or chemical substances, that help preserve the function of cochlear hearing cells, without the stem cells becoming part of the tissue of the inner ear. Their findings are published in Stem Cells, now online.

"We are exploring the potential of stem cells to prevent or restore hearing loss in people," said project leader Dr Sharon Oleskevich.

Nasal Stem Cells and Hearing Problems

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