Slowing age-related hearing loss


Using mice in studies, scientists may have found a way to delay the progress of age-related hearing loss.


Researchers from the University of Michigan and Harvard Medical School, USA, wanted to test if increasing the levels of a specific protein (neurotrophin-3 or Ntf3) which is lost through age, could improve the hearing of mice that were already experiencing mild, but significant, hearing loss.


To do so, they modified the genes of the mice, in order to produce more of the protein Ntf3 – similar to levels found in young mice – thereby reversing one of the symptoms of hearing loss


Gabriel Corfas, director of Michigan Medicine’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute and author of the study said the study showed restoring the protein could help improve the level of hearing in old age.


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