Thoughts on Regenerative Therapy

MIT Hearing Loss Research – Dr. Emily’s Thoughts on Regenerative Therapy

06/01/2022 | Hearing Loss, Industry News, Patient Resources

As audiologists, we will not be able to improve in our provision of hearing healthcare if we don’t always stay up to date on hearing research, which is why this latest bit of news from MIT about hearing loss reversal is exciting.

Here’s What MIT’s Press Release Says

The biotechnology company Frequency Therapeutics is seeking to reverse hearing loss — not with hearing aids or implants but with a new kind of regenerative therapy. The company uses small molecules to program progenitor cells, a descendant of stem cells in the inner ear, to create the tiny hair cells that allow us to hear.

Hair cells die off when exposed to loud noises or drugs, including certain chemotherapies and antibiotics. Frequency’s drug candidate is designed to be injected into the ear to regenerate these cells within the cochlea.

In Frequency’s first clinical study, the company saw statistically significant improvements in speech perception in some participants after a single injection, with some responses lasting nearly two years.

In clinical trials, the company has already improved people’s hearing as measured by tests of speech perception — the ability to understand speech and recognize words.

The company has dosed more than 200 patients to date and has seen clinically meaningful improvements in speech perception in three separate clinical studies. Another study failed to show improvements in hearing compared to the placebo group, but the company attributes that result to flaws in the design of the trial.

What I Think about This Regenerative Therapy

No matter our profession, we are never finished learning! As we discover more information about our ears, the brain, the link of cognition to hearing, regeneration attempts, etc., we owe it to our patients — both past and future — to help them treat their hearing loss to our best abilities.

I think everything valid is worth an attempt, so I am always interested in seeing what researchers try and then what their subsequent trial results look like.

I would love to see hearing loss reversal happen within our lifetime! I am here to help people make the best decision for their hearing health. For some in the near or far future, that might mean this potential drug therapy!


Ready to treat your hearing loss? Book a consultation with the most advanced audiological care in Alaska.

Waiting to Try This New Treatment?

Don’t wait! The ear to brain connection is important, and any hearing loss should be treated as early as possible to ensure the best long-term results.

We need to keep your auditory system stimulated to maintain your overall hearing health and reduce the risk of long-term consequences, and the way we do this is with all the hearing treatment resources we have available today.

The best way to assess what your hearing needs are is to evaluate it, so book a hearing test with us at our Anchorage or Eagle Pass location to find out. We’ll give you the results right away and suggest treatment options that are a good fit.

We’ll also keep our eyes on everything researchers are doing to improve hearing health and implement the successful treatments once they are readily available. Feel free to call us with any questions at (907) 522-4357.

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Dr. Emily McMahan

Dr. McMahan attended the University of Cincinnati where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2009. She furthered her professional education by obtaining her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in Philadelphia in 2013. She completed her residency in Anchorage and has been applying her expertise to her patients in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Whether you need hearing testing, hearing aids, or assistance with managing tinnitus in your daily lives, Dr. McMahan is qualified to assist you!

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