Older mice were less capable than younger mice at "turning off" certain actively firing neurons when exposed to ambient noise. The result causes a fuzzy soundscape that makes it difficult for the brain to focus on one type of sound and filter out other surrounding sounds.
MEF2C, a gene critical for brain development and regulating circuit formation in the brain also plays a significant role in inner ear development. Mutations of MEF2C have previously been linked to ASD. Researchers found mice with only one copy of the MEF2C gene had reduced activity in the auditory nerve.
In those with hearing loss, using hearing aids or cochlear implants was associated with a long-term reduction of cognitive decline by 19% and a 3% improvement in cognitive test scores.
Researchers say up to 1 billion teens and young adults are at risk of hearing loss as a result of using headphones, earbuds, or attending loud music venues.
For the first time, researchers have captured in near-atomic detail the structure of a key part of the inner ear responsible for hearing. The results could pave the way for developing new treatments for those with hearing impairments.
Researchers have identified an autophagy pathway in hair cells in the ear that's linked to permanent hearing loss that occurs as a result of exposure to aminoglycosides antibiotics in some patients.
Researchers have identified a master gene that programs ear hair cells into either inner or outer cells. The discovery could lead to new treatments to restore hearing loss associated with aging, noise exposure, or as an adverse reaction to medical therapies.