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Research leads to successful restoration of hearing and balance
Date:7/18/2013

made the goal to restore function look futile, unless some sites were more important than others.

"We generated a new mutant mouse that expresses SLC26A4 in the endolymphatic sac, but not in the cochlea or the vestibular organs of the inner ear," Wangemann said. "Fantastically, this mouse did not develop the detrimental swelling of the inner ear and even more exciting, the mouse developed normal hearing and balance."

That restoration of hearing and balance lasted for the duration of the testing period, which suggests that the restoration is permanent.

"Our study provides the proof-of-concept that a therapy aimed at repairing the endolymphatic sac during embryonic development is sufficient to restore a lifetime of normal hearing and balance," Wangemann said.

While these findings are made in a mouse model, Wangemann said that eventually the idea is to develop a pharmacological treatment for human patients, but much more research will be necessary, such as to understand how fluid secretion and absorption is supported and how the balance of secretion and absorption is maintained to prevent the detrimental swelling.


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Contact: Philine Wangemann
wange@vet.k-state.edu
785-532-4863
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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