A bet­ter gene ther­a­py vec­tor out of Har­vard is cred­it­ed with restor­ing nor­mal hear­ing in mice

A re­search team at Boston Chil­dren’s has test­ed out a new vec­tor for a gene ther­a­py that sig­nif­i­cant­ly im­proved hear­ing in mouse mod­els for Ush­er syn­drome, the most com­mon ge­net­ic dis­ease that trig­gers deaf­ness as well as blind­ness in its vic­tims.

A bet­ter vec­tor – mark­ing an im­prove­ment over an ear­li­er mod­el – meant that the ther­a­py could do a bet­ter job in cor­rect­ing the per­for­mance of out­er hair cells in the cochlea, am­pli­fy­ing sig­nals to in­ner hair cells that emit sig­nals to the brain. And that al­lowed the ro­dents to hear sounds be­low 80 deci­bels, in 19 of 25 mice, with a few able to hear sounds as soft as 25 deci­bels.

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