New York, NY, April 19, 2012 -- Dr. Albert Edge, Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School and Hearing Restoration Project Consortium Member spoke to nearly 100 people at the Harvard Club of New York about the search for a biologic cure for hearing loss.
"Replacing cells in the inner ear is an exciting potential new therapy for deafness," said Dr. Edge. Hair cells in the inner ear convert sound information into electrical signals that enable the brain to “hear” the outside world. More than 25 years ago, researchers discovered that birds naturally regrow damaged hair cells and regain their hearing. In humans, hearing loss is permanent when the hair cells are damaged.
Now a whole new science has evolved to find a way to trigger hair cell regrowth in humans. This could mean a biologic cure for the nearly 50 million Americans living with various forms of hearing loss.
About Dr. Albert Edge (Harvard Medical School) is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology. At the Tillotson Unit for Cell Biology in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Edge’s research is focused stem cells and the basic mechanisms of cellular repair in the nervous system. Dr. Edge is also studying the loss of sensory cells in the inner ear that result in deafness due to excessive noise, drugs, disease, or aging.