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Diminuendo -- New mouse model for understanding cause of progressive hearing loss
Date:4/27/2009

around 13 million people have impaired hearing, according to estimates of the German Deaf Association (Deutscher Schwerhrigenbund). There are diverse causes for this, including deafness simply due to old age, hearing loss caused by infections and damage due to chronic noise. However, progressive hearing loss can also have genetic causes.

"We assume that our mouse model will be of far-reaching significance for the development of treatment strategies against genetically caused progressive hearing loss in humans," Dr. Fuchs explained. Colleagues from Spain confirm his assumption. They have already performed first examinations on patients diagnosed with progressive hearing loss. In them the microRNA cluster Mirn96 was mutated in the same seed region as in the mouse model. Now, with the aid of this mouse model, the international research consortium hopes to identify factors which are necessary for long-term survival of hair cells and thus to find new approaches for treatment of progressive hearing loss.


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Contact: Sven Winkler
sven.winkler@helmholtz-muenchen.de
0049-893-187-3946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

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