Noise, chemicals and genetic defects are all common causes of irreversible hearing loss, which at present have no cure. Gene therapy may soon be utilized in both the protection and the treatment of these exogenous and endogenous sources of hearing loss. Gene therapy technology is rapidly developing and the inner ear is a particularly feasible model for gene therapy. This review outlines our current understanding of the mechanisms behind deafness and prospects for treatment, discusses the inner ear model in detail and reviews the efforts that have been made in inner ear gene therapy. Finally, the proposed next steps will be discussed. The viral mediated delivery of neurotrophins and antoxidants offers imminent promise in preventing and treating exogenous hearing loss and improving cochlear implant therapy.
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This work was supported by the Swedish Research Council, the Foundation Tysta Skolan, Stiftelsen Clas Groschinskys Minnesfond, Educational Department of Anhui Province, Department of Science and technology, Anhui Province, China.
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Duan, M., Venail, F., Spencer, N. et al. Treatment of peripheral sensorineural hearing loss: gene therapy. Gene Ther 11, S51–S56 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.gt.3302369
- inner ear
- spiral ganglion cell
- hair cell
- adeno-associated virus
- stem cell
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