Five children with hereditary deafness can now hear thanks to a novel treatment

Five children with hereditary deafness can now hear thanks to a novel treatment
Five children with hereditary deafness can now hear thanks to a novel treatment

Five children with hereditary deafness have recovered speech and hearing in both ears thanks to a gene therapy that has proven effective. After the test, the children were able to locate and determine the position of the sounds.

The clinical trial, carried out by researchers at Mass Eye and Ear and the Eye & ENT Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, China, and published in the journal Nature Medicine, has shown that it is possible to restore hearing in both ears to five children with DFNB9, an autosomal deafness caused by mutations in the OTOF gene.

It is the first time that gene therapy has been successfully administered to both ears (bilaterally), given that in the first phase of the study, published earlier this year, children were only treated in one ear.

“The results of these studies are striking,” said Zheng-Yi Chen, DPhil, co-senior author of the study and associate scientist at Mass Eye and Ear’s Eaton-Peabody Laboratories.

“The hearing ability of treated children continues to progress dramatically and the new study shows added benefits of gene therapy when administered to both ears, including the ability to localize sound sources and improvements in speech recognition in noisy environments.”Add.

The team’s goal was always to treat children in both ears to achieve the ability to hear sound in three dimensions, an important ability for communication and common daily tasks such as driving.

Therefore, “these new results show that this approach is very promising and warrants larger international trials,” says the study’s lead author, Yilai Shu MD, PhD, of the Eye & ENT Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai. .

 
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