Every dollar the AHRF uses to fund research into hearing loss brings us
closer to cures and treatments that will improve the lives of the 36 million
people in the United States who are hearing impaired. AHRF-funded medical
research helps shed light on why hearing is lost, and how it can be treated and
restored through new medical therapies, or by improving current technologies
like hearing aids and cochlear implants. Every dollar donated to the AHRF helps
researchers buy supplies for their labs, perform their experiments and hire lab
technicians and shape future treatments and cures for hearing loss, which
affects 17 percent of Americans, and one in three people older than 65. So just
one dollar spent on cutting edge hearing research has the potential to improve
the quality of life for millions of hard of hearing and deaf people in the
United States, and even more worldwide.
Research funded by the
American Hearing Research Foundation over the last five years has yielded many
key insights into potential medical treatments for hearing loss. AHRF
Begun screening hundreds
of drugs for their potential to influence hair cells and neurons in the inner
ear which are lost or damaged in hearing loss. This kind of large drug library
screening has never before been performed to test for potential drugs to treat
Developed a technique to
grow large numbers of hair cells for use in lab experiments, eliminating the
laborious and time-consuming process of manually collecting the small numbers
of hair cells present in individual cochleas.
Use stem cells to
produce spiral ganglion neurons- the neurons responsible to carrying sound
information from the hair cells to the auditory nerve. The death of these
neurons is a major cause of hearing loss.
Developed the first
genetic therapy to restore hearing in a mouse model.
Identified and described
crucial inner ear structures responsible for balance.
The American Hearing Research Foundation reaches more than 100,000 health
consumers and patients seeking quality information on hearing and balance
disorders through its website, www.american-hearing.org, and its print and
electronic newsletters. The AHRF provides more than 30 in-depth,
physician-authored articles on hearing and balance disorders with links to
current research and resources to find additional support. The AHRF also presents
information on hearing and provides hearing testing at senior centers, health
fairs, conferences and meetings attended by patients and physicians alike. The
AHRF fields specific questions on hearing loss that come in over the phone and
by email and provides responses from our physician board members.
Beginning in April, 2013, and occurring annually going forward, the AHRF
will offer a day-long educational opportunity for patients on various hearing
and balance topics. The first AHRF symposium will focus on dizziness and
balance disorders, and will feature nine physician experts as speakers. The symposium
is free, and includes breakfast and lunch. Between seventy and ninety attendees