New treatment options for hearing loss

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 May;14(5):346-65. doi: 10.1038/nrd4533. Epub 2015 Mar 20.


Hearing loss is the most common form of sensory impairment in humans and affects more than 40 million people in the United States alone. No drug-based therapy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and treatment mostly relies on devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Over recent years, more than 100 genetic loci have been linked to hearing loss and many of the affected genes have been identified. This understanding of the genetic pathways that regulate auditory function has revealed new targets for pharmacological treatment of the disease. Moreover, approaches that are based on stem cells and gene therapy, which may have the potential to restore or maintain auditory function, are beginning to emerge.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cochlear Implantation / methods
  • Drug Design
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Hearing Loss / genetics
  • Hearing Loss / physiopathology
  • Hearing Loss / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • United States