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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hair Cell Regen Symposium @ HLAA Convention

I've got a circle of people who aren't able to go to HLAA but are really really really darn interested in the Hair Cell Regen symposium. I'm gonna see if I can submit questions early this week so that I can get answers for my group from the perspective of all the panelists. I figured I'd list the questions I have here and if you have any, feel free to add and I'll get 'em in. I don't want to monopolize the Q&A time, plus I think I'll get better answers if the docs have a chance to think about their answers beforehand.

1) What timeframe are we confident that we will begin human clinical trials on hair cell regen?
2) What trials are being done on animals or pre-human testing today?
3) How does one participate in such human clinical trials? What are the costs, requirements, and circumstances around such a trial?
4) Assuming human trials are concluded and approved, what kind of hearing improvement could one reasonably expect from such a procedure? What hearing level, post-procedure, is realistic?
5) What kind of candidacy requirements are expected for such a procedure?
6) How will one's existing hearing loss affect the expected improvement to one's hearing?
7) Will such improvements start in the low dBs, or to the highs, or across the board?
8) Is the procedure repeatable to continually improve one's hearing, or will it be a "one shot" deal?
9) What kind of costs are expected with this procedure? Will it be cheaper than getting a CI? Will it be affordable or only available to the rich?
10) What kind of insurance implications will take place with this procedure? Will it compare to what it is like today to get a CI?
11) What risks are expected for such a procedure?
12) Are there risks that may impact more than just the ear and hearing?
13) Is it expected to be safer than a CI, from both a surgery and lifestyle perspective?
14) In such a procedure, would someone with some existing residual hearing run the risk of losing such residual hearing, i.e. go completely deaf if the procedure is not successful? Or will that hearing be left intact and the procedure simply supplement one's hearing loss?
15) Will having a CI already implanted complicate the procedure? Is it better to have "virgin ears" with residual hearing and no CI to remove?
16) Would someone who has been deaf for a long time benefit from this procedure? Would it be better for someone to have a CI for a long time and have this procedure, or be deaf for a long time and have this procedure?
17) Will CIs become obsolete shortly after this becomes available?
18-NEW) Does it make a difference in the procedure's chances of success depending on whether the patient lost their hearing due to the environment, or due to their genes? I.e. what impact does this have on Connexion 26 patients?

The majority of questions originate from DeafDude @ Good questions, man.


  1. *waves hand* over here!

    I have a question. I haven't read much about the whole hair cell regeneration thing but...

    I'm wondering if there wld be a difference between someone who lost their hearing due to environmental factors vs genetics. I'm just curious because I would think that people who became deaf due to environmental factors would still have normal functioning genes/cells/etc. whereas someone whose hearing loss is due to genetic factors wouldn't have normal functioning genes/cells/etc.

    I guess my question is if the approach and success rate would be the same for both groups of hearing loss or if it would even make a difference at all.

  2. Excellent point. Does it make sense to re-build the house of hearnig if the genetic foundation isn't up to snuff? Noted!

  3. Excellent!
    it is interesting to your initiatives. Please go on and fight. The more people the better. Please share: I hope they finally have a cure as soon as possible!

  4. Wow. I just got your e-mail. Let me see what I can do to help :). Looking forward to meeting you!
    Jen :)