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Antioxidant regimen slows hereditary deafness in kids

Posted:  Monday, March 14, 2016

Antioxidant blend stalls hereditary deafness! Many babies are born with a genetic mutation that causes hearing loss. Such babies can hear well initially they lose their hearing later on. Now a new study conducted in mice shows that an antioxidant regimen containing vitamins and magnesium can slow down the progression of genetic hearing loss.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports. The researchers used two sets of mice for the preclinical study; one set of animals bore a connexin 26 gene deletion, while the second set bore the AUNA1 gene mutation. Connexin 26 gene deletion is a leading cause of childhood deafness, while AUNA1 gene mutation is responsible for a rare type of hearing loss in children. The researchers treated both sets of mice with an antioxidant regimen of beta carotene (source of vitamin A), vitamins C and E, and magnesium in utero and postnatally in independent experiments.

The study indicated that the antioxidant diet slowed the progression of hereditary deafness and significantly improved hearing thresholds in mice with the connexin 26 gene deletion. Contrastingly, mice with the AUNA1 gene mutation showed accelerated progression of deafness with the same regimen. This suggests that different mutations may respond to the special antioxidant diet differently.

Antioxidants have been shown to combat oxidative stress in neuronal disorders, cancer, heart diseases, and inflammatory diseases. They also preserve cellular components like gap junctions, which are directly affected by connexin 26 loss. Reducing oxidative stress in the inner ear has been shown to confer a protective effect on sensory hair cells and hearing.

Commenting on the study findings, Dr Glenn Green, M.D., associate professor of paediatric otolaryngology at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital said, "These patterns suggest that for some children, there may be an opportunity to potentially save cells present at birth. These findings are encouraging for those of us who treat children with progressive connexin 26 hearing loss, and possibly for other mutations not yet tested. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings in children and to explore whether oral administration of antioxidants could someday be considered as an effective treatment".

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