May 20, 2024

Nasal stem cells may prevent childhood deafness

Scientists “encouraged by initial findings”

There are so many stories about adult stem cells that we couldn’t possibly cover them all – and this one is particularly intriguing. Australian scientists have shown for the first time in mice that nasal stem cells injected into the inner ear could reverse or restore hearing during early onset sensorineural hearing loss. This condition occurs when hearing cells in the cochlea (auditory part of the inner ear) stop functioning. The condition, often inherited, can slow children’s development and lead to language and speech problems. Drs Jeremy Sullivan, Sonali Pandit and Sharon Oleskevich from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, found that the stem cells appear to emit “factors”, or chemical substances, that help conserve the function of cochlear hearing cells without the stem cells becoming part of the inner ear tissue. “We are exploring the potential of stem cells to prevent or restore hearing loss in people,” said project leader Dr Sharon Oleskevich. ~ Garvan Institute, Feb 11

Nasal stem cells may prevent childhood deafness
Jared Yee
adult stem cells
stem cells