Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Hearing Restoration Initiative

Julia's certified teacher of the deaf has been teaching her all the parts of the ear. Julia can draw a lovely cochlea. One day she explained the function of the Eustachian tube. She knows that her hearing loss is most likely due to missing hair cells on her cochlea. Her knowledge about ears is impressive.

We don't know what caused her to lose hair cells. We'd all love to have them back.

The Deafness Research Foundation (DRF) is launching a fundraising campaign to raise money and awareness for hair cell regeneration. They're calling it the Hearing Restoration Initiative.

I first learned of this research at the AG Bell convention last summer. A research symposium presenter went into detail about the use of mouse cochlea to try to get mammal ears to behave like chickens. Chickens, I learned, regrow hair cells and repair their hearing spontaneously. In a month, a deafened chicken can hear again. Mammals can't do that.

With "proper funding" DRF thinks deafness could be cured in ten years.

Deafness could be cured. I like the sound of that.

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