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|WASHINGTON Justin Upton Jersey , April 23 (Xinhua) -- Electrical pulses delivered from cochlear implants, which have been commercially available since the 1970s, can be used to regrow auditory nerves in people with severe hearing loss, Australian researchers said Wednesday.
The research, published in the U.S. journal Science Translational Medicine, may also herald a possible new way of treating a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, and psychiatric conditions such as depression through this novel way of delivering gene therapy.
"People with cochlear implants do well with understanding speech, but their perception of pitch can be poor, so they often miss out on the joy of music," senior author Gary Housley, who is professor of the University of New South Wales, said in a statement.
"Ultimately, we hope that after further research, people who depend on cochlear implant devices will be able to enjoy a broader dynamic and tonal range of sound, which is particularly important for our sense of the auditory world around us and for music appreciation," Housley said.
The five-year research focused on regenerating surviving nerves after age-related or environmental hearing loss, using existing cochlear technology, which can partially restore hearing by providing direct electrical stimulation to auditory nerves in the inner ear. However, current cochlear implants cannot restore hearing to normal, and the electrode design has changed little in decades.
According to the researchers, auditory nerve endings can regenerate if neurotrophins, a naturally occurring family of proteins crucial for the development, function and survival of neurons, are delivered to the auditory portion of the inner ear known as the cochlea.
But until now, research has stalled because safe, localized delivery of the neurotrophins can't be achieved using drug delivery, nor by viral-based gene therapy.
In the new study involving completely deaf guinea pigs, the researchers developed a way of using electrical pulses delivered from the cochlear implant to deliver a solution of DNA containing the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene to the cells close to the array of implanted electrodes.
Within a few hours, cells in the cochlea took up the DNA and started to produce neurotrophins, they said.
The researchers tested the animals' hearing using the auditory brainstem response test, a common technique used to measure hearing in newborn babies.
They found that animals that were once completely deaf had their hearing restored to almost normal levels.
"No-one had tried to use the cochlear implant itself for gene therapy," said Housley. "With our technique, the cochlear implant can be very effective for this."
First author Jeremy Pinyon of the university said it's possible that in the future this gene delivery would only add a few minutes to the implant procedure.
Integration of this technology into other "bionic" devices such as electrode arrays used in deep brain stimulation for treating diseases like depression could also afford opportunities for safe, directed gene therapy of complex neurological disorders, the researchers said.
"Our work has implications far beyond hearing disorders," said co-author Matthias Klugmann, associate professor of the university.
"Gene therapy has been suggested as a treatment concept even for devastating neurological conditions and our technology provides a novel platform for safe and efficient gene transfer into tissues as delicate as the brain."
Chennai is a developed city of south Indian region. It is developed in a great way. The educational development is just a matter of honor. This city is burgeoning with all efforts on its shoulder. The carpet of the education in this city is spread all across India. Students from many regions of India come here to pursue higher studies and some parents who have been transferred over here with their families get to know regarding the quality of the schooling and higher studies in Chennai. Schooling over here has been taken as the first and foremost duty of the government, which should be accomplished, very nice without leaving any flaw stain in it. It is the only main duty to give a strong backing to the infrastructure of this city.
Education starts being established with utmost care and attention and with all importance when a child takes birth. Parents like starting planning for their future designation when the child does not know who his or her parents are. This is like now a day our society is growing and running. The way and in which speed the competition in the field of education and profession has been risen this type of bent of mind should obviously be taken by everyone. Our society is progressing in this way.
Schools over here in Chennai are just the best schools ever whether it is CBSE affiliated school or any other board schools. The CBSE affiliated schools, as we all know residing and reigning over entire India, then how can a developed story can be apart from CBSE board affiliated schools. The CBSE board affiliated schools in Chennai are sitting with exotic kinds of facilities that can assist teachers to make an established and very solid image of education. These schools have always been best at their services. Their services are speechless. They believe in providing quality education only, so that after students are done with their desired course and all they can utilize their studies for earning money to take the responsibility of him and his family as well. Schooling should be like making or watering one’s root, so that it can grow fruitfully and offer the society with worthy results.
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