Scientists discover a 'chemical ear muff' drug that could protect hearing

Scientists discover a 'chemical ear muff' drug that could protect hearing without muting all sound in an effort to prevent auditory problems suffered by a quarter of US soldiers Between 16.4 and 26.6 percent of American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer hearing loss or tinnitus  Researchers at the University of Iowa and Washington University in St Louis are designing a drug to prevent hearing damage  It works by blocking a faulty receptor that can lead to the break down of auditory synapses When it the chemical block was placed in the cochleas of mice, hearing is not disrupted but damage is prevented 

By Dailymail.com Reporter

Published: 20:12 GMT, 3 February 2020 | Updated: 20:13 GMT, 3 February 2020

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Hearing loss could be prevented by an injection dubbed 'chemical earmuffs' by scientists.

Biologists say they have discovered a way to preventing the damage caused by loud noises while not muffling the sound.

Funded by the US Department of Defence, the successful testing gives hope soldiers will one day be able to take a hearing-protection drug before being exposed to gunshots.

The drug, being designed by researchers at the University of Iowa and Washington University in St Louis, would protect auditory receptors while allowing soldiers to still hear commands and one another. 

Tinnitus and hearing loss are the top causes of disability for US veterans. A new drug  tested in mice may prevent damage to auditory neurons without preventing soldiers from hearing

Tinnitus and hearing loss are the top causes of disability for US veterans. A new drug  tested in mice may prevent damage to auditory neurons without preventing soldiers from hearing 

They discovered a drug that blocks a receptor that prevents the breakdown of vital auditory synapses.

A receptor are part of a molecules in ear nerve cells that bridge the pattern of sound and auditory information from sound sensors to the brain.

The successful transmission of sound occurs through a junction called a synapse.

The researchers identified some receptors lack a protein called GluA2, and it is these lacking receptors that are responsible for hearing loss.

When biologists blocked the faulty receptors in mice, it prevented them from sustaining hearing damage.

Professor Steven Green said: 'Now, we

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