Paving The Way To Curing Deafness, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah Explains Promising Stem Cell Research
Many people experience hearing loss at some point in their lifetime, especially as they age. Currently, there are few options for dealing with hearing loss. Many people who experience age-related hearing loss use hearing aids (and have to deal with replacing batteries, remembering to put their hearing aids in each morning, etc.). Other people go through the process of cochlear implant surgery. Ebenezer Yamoah, Ph.D., is working to create a long-lasting biological solution that could be life-changing for people who are suffering from hearing loss.
When hearing loss occurs, it’s often due to damage or degeneration of the hearing cells. Hair cells in the cochlea are an important part of the hearing process. These cells tune and amplify sound, just before the cochlea transforms the sound waves into electrical impulses that travel to the brain for interpretation, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah.
When hair cells are damaged or begin to degenerate, hearing loss occurs, according to Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah. In humans, it’s not possible for these cells to repair or regenerate on their own. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has shown that other organisms – such as birds – have the ability to repair damaged hair cells, making hearing loss far less likely than in humans.
According to Ebenezer N. Yamoah, Ph.D., stem cells are special cells that have the ability to transform into new organ cells, depending on their RNA profile. Much of Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has focused on exploring stem cells in the body, finding cells that have a similar profile to hair cells. Ebenezer N. Yamoah, Ph.D., is hopeful that the injection of stem cells into the area in which hair cells grow could eventually allow the body to regenerate hair cells on its own. This may allow the body to restore hearing biologically.
Currently, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research has shown that the insertion of stem cells into the ears of mice who have experienced age-related hearing loss can change damaged hair cells. As Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah’s research continues, there is hope that eventually, stem cells will transform into hair cells in mice. Over time, and with further research, it’s possible that this technology could be used to cure deafness in humans.