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      International Symposium on Inner Ear Therapeutics

      Earlier this month Action on Hearing Loss joined scientists, pharmaceutical companies and clinicians from around the world in Hanover, Germany, to discuss the latest developments in treatments for inner ear-related diseases, including hearing loss and tinnitus.

      By: Cláudia Gonçalves | 19 November 2019
      Organised by the International Society of Inner Ear Therapeutics, this year’s symposium had a strong focus on gene and cell-based therapies, and the development of drugs to protect or restore hearing. It was great to see many Action on Hearing Loss-funded researchers presenting their latest findings.

      Gene Therapy


      Gene therapy is one of the most promising areas currently being explored. At the symposium, a number of researchers presented their research into finding ways of correcting faulty genes to restore hearing. A key challenge is targeting these gene therapies to the correct cells of the inner ear and was an area of much discussion. With very promising results in animal models, it is expected that some of these therapies may progress into clinical trials soon.

      Research aiming to promote regeneration of the auditory nerve was also highlighted at the meeting. Cochlear implants work by directly stimulating the auditory nerve, so a healthy auditory nerve is vital for a good outcome. Important research was presented at the meeting, describing new ways to promote the re-growth of auditory nerve cells towards the cochlear implant electrode. One of the studies presented described an approach for local gene therapy delivery through a cochlear implant. The gene delivered encodes a protein that promotes the re-growth of the auditory nerve. The treatment is now being clinically tested (CINGT trial) in Australia.

      Tinnitus


      Advances were also presented in tinnitus research, including research into a treatment for tinnitus that pairs electrical stimulation of the tongue with sound stimulation. There are currently no therapies to silence tinnitus, a condition that can have a severe impact on the quality of life of those affected.

      Find out more


      You can find out more on the ISIET meeting website.

      We depend on your donations so we can fund the best hearing and tinnitus research around the world. Donate today and help us continue our vital work into hearing treatments, so that people can live life to the full again.

      You can find out more about the research we’re funding in our biomedical research section.

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      We campaign for changes that make life better for people who are confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

      Our ears are our organs of hearing and balance. They have three parts: the outer, middle and inner ear.