bone density medications for hearing loss.

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Preliminary findings from Harvard Medical School researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear may pave the way for trials to test bone density medications for hearing loss.

Hearing loss caused by damaged nerves, whether from sound exposure or aging, is irreversible. There are currently no medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat and reverse the most common type of hearing loss, called sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). But a new animal study hopes to pave the way for future trials to see whether this type of treatment can be used in people.

New research led by Konstantina Stankovic, HMS associate professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at Mass. Eye and Ear, and Albert Edge, the Eaton-Peabody Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Mass. Eye and Ear, have found medications called bisphosphonates, which are commonly used to prevent bone density loss, were able to regrow damaged nerve connections in the inner ear in mice with SNHL. While the findings require further studying in animal models, the research team hopes it could be a promising target for conducting clinical trials in people with SNHL.

The discoveries were published July 14 in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience