Challenges for stem cells to functionally repair the damaged auditory nerve
AuthorNeedham, K; Minter, RL; Shepherd, RK; Nayagam, BA
Source TitleEXPERT OPINION ON BIOLOGICAL THERAPY
PublisherTAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsNeedham, K; Minter, RL; Shepherd, RK; Nayagam, BA, Challenges for stem cells to functionally repair the damaged auditory nerve, EXPERT OPINION ON BIOLOGICAL THERAPY, 2013, 13 (1), pp. 85 - 101
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543850
C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
INTRODUCTION: In the auditory system, a specialized subset of sensory neurons are responsible for correctly relaying precise pitch and temporal cues to the brain. In individuals with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing impairment these sensory auditory neurons can be directly stimulated by a cochlear implant, which restores sound input to the brainstem after the loss of hair cells. This neural prosthesis therefore depends on a residual population of functional neurons in order to function effectively. AREAS COVERED: In severe cases of sensorineural hearing loss where the numbers of auditory neurons are significantly depleted, the benefits derived from a cochlear implant may be minimal. One way in which to restore function to the auditory nerve is to replace these lost neurons using differentiated stem cells, thus re-establishing the neural circuit required for cochlear implant function. Such a therapy relies on producing an appropriate population of electrophysiologically functional neurons from stem cells, and on these cells integrating and reconnecting in an appropriate manner in the deaf cochlea. EXPERT OPINION: Here we review progress in the field to date, including some of the key functional features that stem cell-derived neurons would need to possess and how these might be enhanced using electrical stimulation from a cochlear implant.
KeywordsSensory Systems; Hearing; Vision; Speech and Their Disorders
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