Scientists this week have reported amazing recent discoveries made at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary and Harvard Medical School in the search for a cure for deafness. The scientists have been testing a drug on mice to see if it would repair the damage to the ear which causes hearing loss. The mice were completely deaf and had relatively few hairs in their cochlear, i.e. those which detect sound.
The test results suggest new hair cells can be induced. The drug apparently works by converting cells operating in one function into cells that detect sounds. Those tiny hairs in the inner ear then send a signal to the brain. The findings indicate partial recovery of hearing in ears damaged by noise trauma can be achieved. However they are not near the stage of generating these hairs in humans.
The drug is currently named LY411575. The research was was published in the journal Neuron,