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Discovery of the underlying cause of age-related hearing loss

It is now known it is due to damage in inner ear hair cells


Key points from article :

Age-related hearing loss is mainly caused by damage to hair cells.

These are the sensory cels in inner ear transmitting vibrations to the brain.

Debunks view of the last 60 years that it is due to damage to the stria vascularis.

Team examined 120 inner ears collected at autopsy.

The degree and location of hair cell death predicted the severity and pattern of the hearing loss.

While stria vascularis damage did not.

1 in 2 US adults aged 65 and 74 has hearing loss, nearly half are 75 and up.

Many hearing impaired elderly patients could likely benefits from new therapies with new study.

High-frequency hearing losses may be avoidable, reflecting mainly damage from environmental noise.

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, published in Journal of Neuroscience.

Mentioned in this article:

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Harvard Medical School

Graduate medical school of Harvard University

Journal of Neuroscience

Weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal

M. Charles Liberman

Director, Eaton-Peabody Laboratories, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston

Eye hospital (Teaching) of Harvard Medical School

Pei-zhe Wu

Research Fellow in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery

Topics mentioned on this page:
Hearing Loss