Is there an unmet medical need for improved hearing restoration?


Wolf BJ, Kusch K, Hunniford V, Vona B, Kühler R, Keppeler D, Strenzke N, Moser T


EMBO Molecular Medicine


EMBO Mol Med. 2022 Jul 14:e15798.


Hearing impairment, the most prevalent sensory deficit, affects more than 466 million people worldwide (WHO). We presently lack causative treatment for the most common form, sensorineural hearing impairment; hearing aids and cochlear implants (CI) remain the only means of hearing restoration. We engaged with CI users to learn about their expectations and their willingness to collaborate with health care professionals on establishing novel therapies. We summarize upcoming CI innovations, gene therapies, and regenerative approaches and evaluate the chances for clinical translation of these novel strategies. We conclude that there remains an unmet medical need for improving hearing restoration and that we are likely to witness the clinical translation of gene therapy and major CI innovations within this decade.


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