By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Tiny hair cells inside our inner ear allow us to hear but they can be easily damaged by loud noises or certain drugs, causing hearing loss. And these hair cells don’t regenerate. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

But researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, MIT, and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have found a way to grow new hair cells in mouse, primate, and human tissues using a cocktail of drugs, which could restore hearing.

They hope to begin clinical trials in humans in about 18 months.


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