Posts Tagged ‘study’

Can hearing loss make you less empathic?

When we think of using our hearing aids, we tend to think of clarity, loudness and sensitivity.

We home in on hearing the words spoken to us clearly, so that we can respond in kind.

However, a recent study reports on an important question for those who experience hearing loss: is it enough just to hear words, or do we need to also understand the emotional intent behind them?

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Study: Teen boys more likely to have hearing loss

Despite recent warnings of headphone use damaging teens’ ears, researchers say the rates of hearing loss among US teens is stable but more prevalent in specific segments.

While researchers say there was a spike in hearing loss among teens in 2007-8, in comparing rates from 2010 with those from 1988, the team at the University of California, San Francisco concluded that there was “no overall change in prevalence of hearing loss” over the decades.

They did find, however, rates of hearing loss higher in specific groups. 

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Study: Gene therapy used to restore function of inner ear hair cells

Researchers say they have successfully restored the functionality of damaged inner ear hair cells, which could pave the way for treating newborn babies with congenital hearing loss.

“Researchers used a modified, non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus (Anc80L65), which is introduced into the ear by way of a “Trojan Horse” to deliver genes to restore the functionality of the damaged hair cells,” according to Science Daily.

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Is tinnitus hereditary?

A new study shows that certain forms of tinnitus – a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in the ears – may be hereditary.

Men, in particular, may be more prone to experience bilateral tinnitus because of their genetics, according to the study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the European research network TINNET.

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A cure for hearing loss? Drug could be ready for testing by 2018

Researchers say they have discovered a combination of drugs that encourages the growth of new hair cells, which could pave the way for tinnitus and hearing loss therapies.

The team of scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), MIT, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear say they have found a way to isolate stem cells in inner ears of mice and convert them into auditory hair cells.

“They exposed cells from a mouse cochlea, grown in a lab dish, to molecules that stimulate the Wnt pathway, which makes the cells multiply rapidly,” according to a press release from MIT.

By re-producing hair cells, the scientists believe they can solve one of the major reasons for hearing loss.

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This is how Deaf people’s brains process visual rhythms

The brain has a remarkable ability to respond to change – to the extent of reorganizing itself after a traumatic injury or a sensory disability, as well as enabling the nervous system to adjust to the loss of an entire set of sensory inputs.

Evidence that brain circuits can be ‘re-purposed’ was recently reported in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Researchers found that Deaf people had the same auditory processing regions in their brains activated when they interpreted visual rhythms from a flashing light, as when normal hearing people listened to the rhythms. 

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Study: 1 in 4 adults in U.S. may have hearing loss

A new report, published earlier this month in the US, has analyzed the most recent available data to determine how common noise-induced hearing loss is in adults aged 20 to 69. What they’ve found is quite staggering.

If you live in the US and are aged between 20 and 69, and struggle to understand speech in noisy environments, such as bars, cafés and restaurants, then it’s possible that you are one of the 25 percent of US citizens affected by noise-induced hearing loss.

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How does conductive hearing loss affect the brain?

Have you ever had temporary hearing loss, possibly caused by an ear infection or a build-up of wax, which has affected your hearing?

According to a new study, “Even short-term blockages in hearing can lead to remarkable changes in the auditory system, altering the behavior and structure of nerve cells that relay information from the ear to the brain.”

The research into what happened when mice experienced temporary conductive hearing loss over a period of three days to over a week were published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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