Gene therapy for deafness

Gene Ther. 2013 Dec;20(12):1119-23. doi: 10.1038/gt.2013.39. Epub 2013 Jul 18.


Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in humans and can result from genetic, environmental or combined etiologies that prevent normal function of the cochlea, the peripheral sensory organ. Recent advances in understanding the genetic pathways that are critical for the development and maintenance of cochlear function, as well as the molecular mechanisms that underlie cell trauma and death, have provided exciting opportunities for modulating these pathways to correct genetic mutations, to enhance the endogenous protective pathways for hearing preservation and to regenerate lost sensory cells with the possibility of ameliorating hearing loss. A number of recent animal studies have used gene-based therapies in innovative ways toward realizing these goals. With further refinement, some of the protective and regenerative approaches reviewed here may become clinically applicable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cochlea / physiopathology*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Deafness / genetics*
  • Deafness / physiopathology
  • Deafness / therapy*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Hearing Aids
  • Humans
  • Mutation