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They discover innovative gene therapy that can cure deafness in boys and girls

Through a genetic mutation in the otoferlin gene

An innovative gene therapy has allowed children with hearing problems to hear for the first time.

The results of the trials of this new research carried out in China, the United States and the United Kingdom have shown that it is possible to reverse deafness in minors, through a genetic mutation in the otoferlin gene, Mppcyt reports on its website. .

The treatment involves using an inactivated virus to introduce functional copies of the affected gene, Otof, into the inner ear. Once inside, ear cells use the new genetic material as a template to produce functional copies of the otoferlin protein.

In this regard, the Minister of Popular Power for Science and Technology, Gabriela Jiménez Ramírez, indicated that “the human ear is a prodigy to which we often do not pay due attention. The sound waves reach the ear, are amplified by several tiny bones, and penetrate to the inner ear, where there are a few milliliters of watery fluid called endolymph.”

In his account on the social network They transform them into chemical signals that they transmit to the first neurons. And at that moment the brain hears; all in fractions of a second.”

Medical advances

The People's Republic of China was the first to apply this therapy to children, between the ages of one and eleven, in both ears, in the hope that they would gain enough three-dimensional hearing to participate in conversations and determine the direction of their ears. sounds.

Within a few weeks of receiving the therapy, the infants had improved their hearing ability, were able to locate sound sources and recognize speech in noisy environments.

In Spain, clinical trials have begun on children born without hearing through a gene therapy based on the injection of a gene packaged in harmless adenovirus.

In the research published by the newspaper El País, Rubén Polo, an otolaryngologist who directs the trial in Spain, expresses that “with this type of therapy, the sooner the intervention is performed, the better recovery can be expected of the ear and, therefore, better development of the auditory cerebral cortex. If this has not developed, no matter how much they recover their hearing, language can no longer develop.”

This innovative therapy represents a significant advance in the treatment of genetic deafness and offers hope to children affected with this condition.

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