Home Academia & Research ASHA Voices: What If Permanent Hearing Loss Could Be Reversed?

ASHA Voices: What If Permanent Hearing Loss Could Be Reversed?

by J.D. Gray
written by
Young girl giving thumbs up while taking hearing exam wearing special headphones

On this episode of ASHA Voices, we dive into the research behind hearing loss reversal.

While investigating a genetic form of hearing loss affecting transduction, researcher Jeff Holt  found he could successfully reverse hearing loss in mice. How did the researcher test the rodents’ hearing? By unexpectedly playing loud music and looking for a response in the subjects, nicknamed Beethoven mice.

“A deaf mouse doesn’t jump at all, no matter how loud a sound you play. But after introducing our gene therapy into the ears of Beethoven mice, we find they jump again,” says Holt.

Also on the show, sensorineural hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss. Auditory neuroscientist Tina Stankovic shares her research addressing obstacles and possible solutions to treating and reversing sensorineural hearing loss.  Hearing aids and other assistive technology can help, but Stankovic is looking for ways to actually treat it.

We spoke with both researchers at the 2019 ASHA Convention in Orlando, Florida, where Stankovic and Holt presented as a part of ASHA’s Research Symposium on Hearing.

Finally, we hear from the recipient of the 2019 Alfred K. Kawana Award for Lifetime Achievement in Publications, Robert (Bob) Hillman. He joins us for a conversation about his career, papers he’s published, and the twist in his path that changed everything in his work with the voice and voice disorders.

Read the transcript for this episode. 

Meet our guests:

  • Tina Stankovic, surgeon/auditory neuroscientist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School
  • Jeff Holt, researcher, Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Robert Hillman, 2019 Kawana Award Winner, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Voice Center and Institute of Health Professions, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University

To hear each episode as soon as it’s released, follow the ASHA Voices page on Leader Live or subscribe to the program with Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Google Play.

Questions or comments? Email us at podcast@asha.org. Or leave us a voicemail at 301-296-5804. We may include your comment in an upcoming episode.

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