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      Hearing regeneration

      Some treatments try to restore hearing in people with hearing loss. They're called regenerative treatments.

      What is regeneration?

      Sensorineural hearing loss, the most common cause of hearing loss, can be caused by damage to:

      • the cells lining the cochlea in the inner ear
      • the nerve cells that connect the ear to the brain.

      The inner ear has around 15,000 hair cells that detect and translate sound into electrical signals, the only ‘language’ our brain understands. Auditory nerve cells transmit the electrical signals to the brain, making it possible for us to hear sound from the gentlest whisper to the loudest sound. Damage to the hair cells and/or auditory nerve cells is an irreversible process, and can be caused by:

      • ageing
      • noise
      • certain types of medication
      • infections
      • genetics.

      Regenerative treatments attempt to regrow the cells lining the cochlea, such as hair cells, and/or the auditory nerve cells and restore our hearing.

      How could regenerative treatments potentially benefit me in the future?

      Regenerative treatments aim to recover people’s hearing after it has been lost, rather than trying to protect it.

      The damage these treatments address is common to several type of hearing loss, so they could benefit a diverse range of people who have lost their hearing due to different causes.

      How can I find out more?

      Regenerative treatments currently being tested in people are in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the clinical trials. Find out more about the clinical trials on regenerative treatments for hearing loss below:

      Frequency Therapeutics (drug)

      Audion Therapeutics (drug)

      Novartis (gene therapy)

      All the clinical trials presented in these pages are current as of April 2019 and represent a non-exhaustive list of the clinical trials that are currently taking place.

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