Hearing Research - Current Insights

Posted: June 9, 2021

  • In a study of mice, Johns Hopkins researchers have found a molecular “switch” that turns off the animal’s ability to repair damaged inner ear cells. The findings shed light on regenerative abilities that are observed in many species of birds and fish, but not mammals, including humans. Li, XJ and Doetzlhofer, A (2020). LIN28B/let-7 control the ability of neonatal murine auditory supporting cells to generate hair cells through mTOR signaling, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sep 2020, 117 (36) 22225-22236; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2000417117.

  • Research led by Newcastle University has identified a ‘super-sensitized’ brain connection in people who suffer from an extreme reaction to triggering sounds such as chewing or loud breathing, often referred to as misophonia. They discovered increased connectivity in the brain between the auditory cortex and the motor control areas related to the face, mouth and throat. Kumar et al. (2021). The motor basis for misophonia, Journal of Neuroscience, 21 May 2021, JN-RM-0261-21; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0261-21.2021.

  • Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed data from nearly 144,000 women who were followed for up to 34 years. They found that risk of subsequent moderate or worse hearing loss was up to 40 percent higher in study participants with osteoporosis or low bone density. The study also found that taking bisphosphonates, the primary medication used to prevent fractures in people with reduced bone density did not alter the risk of hearing loss. Curhan SG et al. (2021). Osteoporosis, bisphosphonate use, and risk of moderate or worse hearing loss in women, Journal of the American Geriatric Society, 1-11; DOI: 10.1111/jgs.17275.