Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has spent over a decade now studying hearing loss and researching ways in which technology may offer radical new solutions for the hearing impaired — regardless of cause.
Deafness and hearing loss is a subsect of medicine that has long gone underappreciated and yet it is one that Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has dedicated many years of research to and has an undeniable impact on today’s current research environment for it.
Understanding Hearing Loss & Taking a New Approach
Many laypersons see deafness as being the result of either a deformity of birth or a part of the decline into old age, yet such situations are only a portion of the entire population that experiences some type of significant amount of hearing loss. In fact, an estimated 15 percent of the US population at any given time will report having some sort of hearing loss. Other causes of hearing loss include working environments and side effects of common medication. For example, when aspirin is taken in large doses, such as 8 to 12 pills a day for an extended amount of time, it can induce hearing loss.
However, despite these other causes of hearing loss, the notion that most people with hearing loss are either born with it or naturally develop it with age dictated that research and technologies designed to aid those with hearing loss were built to help people adapt and not regain their hearing. For example, the development of American Sign Language and the use of cochlear ear implants. These types of adaptations certainly made participating in society as a person who was deaf or suffered significant hearing loss easier, but they had their issues. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah imagined a possibility where adaptation wasn’t necessary, and instead, the answer to deafness could be the regeneration of hearing.
Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah began his journey into curing, yes, actually curing deafness and partial to severe hearing loss well over a decade ago. Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah was one of the first in this field to propose the use of stem cells to replace the sensitive and vital-to-hearing hair cells located within the inner ear. Years later, this research with stem cells has continued on at universities across the country.
Ongoing Research Into Hearing Loss by Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah
More recently, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah has been working with mice to delve deeper into one type of hearing loss: Age-related hearing loss (ARHL). ARHL currently has no treatment and instead those who suffer ARHL must adapt as mentioned above via either the use of devices that can help amplify sound or utilize hand signals or other methods of communication.
In a 2019 conference on aging and speech communication, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah shared his ongoing research on mice and how their auditory neuron structure and functions could be altered with the goal of repairing that structure and enabling hearing once again. In this presentation, Dr. Ebenezer N. Yamoah shared how these results may be replicable in humans.