Babies and children suffering from hearing loss

What is Gene Therapy? A Source of Hope for Children With Genetic Hearing Loss 

 

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GAINESVILLE – June 21, 2022 – Hearing is vital to everyday life, important for communication, and allows people to connect with the world but is often taken for granted. Hearing loss currently affects approximately 430 million people all over the world. It is estimated that by 2050 more than 700 million people worldwide will be affected by hearing loss 2. Hearing loss varies in severity and has several different causes. Some types of hearing loss are inherited and caused by genetic mutations. 

Genes contain a person’s DNA and the information that determines their individual traits; they are passed down from a person’s parents. There are sometimes misimprints in the genes that are either passed down or happen when the genes are being made, these are referred to as gene mutations. Gene mutations can cause several different types of medical conditions, including hearing loss. 

Genetics is one of the most common causes of hearing loss, especially among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fifty to sixty percent of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic causes 1. The most traditionally known treatments for hearing loss are hearing aid devices and surgical procedures, however, new exciting developments are being made in gene therapy to help people who struggle with genetic hearing loss.

Gene therapy is the bright future of advanced and improved medical treatments. It is a method that alters a person’s genes to treat, prevent, and/or cure disease. It works by correcting the genetic mutation that is causing the medical condition. This is done by either replacing the defective gene with a functioning gene, inactivating the defective gene, or repairing the defective gene. The developments being made in gene therapy are highly significant for patients and their families who experience genetic hearing loss. Gene therapy is the future of treating genetic hearing loss. Using gene therapy to treat genetic hearing loss will be immensely valuable because it would repair the genetic mutations that cause the hearing loss instead of treating the symptoms like hearing aids do. Unfortunately, gene therapy for genetic hearing loss is not available at this time but be assured that action and innovation are on the way. 

Rescue Hearing Inc (RHI) is a revolutionary company helping make this medical technology a reality. RHI has assembled a team of physicians, scientists, and bioengineers who share a passion for developing therapies for people who suffer from hearing loss. Its mission is to eliminate hearing loss as a chronic condition by developing an array of technologies across the disciplines of therapeutics, diagnostics, and imaging. 

Rescue Hearing Inc has recently partnered with Myrtelle to move its initial gene therapy for hearing loss, called RHI100, into human clinical trials. RHI100 will be used to treat a genetic mutation in the TMPRSS3 gene that is known to cause progressive hearing loss which can sometimes lead to deafness. To learn more, visit Rescue Hearing Inc on Twitter, Linkedin, or RescueHearing.com. Reach out to our team on the Rescue Hearing Inc contact page or email us at info@rescuehearing.com.

 

Resources

 

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, June 8). Genetics of hearing loss. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hearingloss/genetics.html 
  2. World Health Organization. (2021, April 1). Deafness and hearing loss. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss 

 

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