Pastorno Hospital of Mashhad
Latest News
Degenerating hair cells in the inner ear can be made to function again, suggests a new report.

There are more than 300 genetic defects that have been found to prevent the hair cells in the human inner ear  the sensory cells of the ear as it were, from working properly. This can result in severe hearing impairment and even to complete hearing loss. Together with researchers at the Medical School in Harvard, Boston, Lukas Landegger of MedUni Vienna s Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases has now succeeded, for the very first time, to repair this defect in an animal model -- by using a modified, non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus (Anc80L65), which is introduced into the ear by way of a Trojan Horse to deliver genes to restore the functionality of the damaged hair cells.
The study has been published in the leading journal Nature Biotechnology. Lukas Landegger is doing his PhD at MedUni Vienna and is currently working at Harvard as part of his course.
At the moment, ENT experts are able to use cochlea implants as a technical solution for restoring the hearing of people with congenital hearing loss. The Medical University of Vienna has been a global leader in the development and use of cochlear implants since 1977, when the world s first multichannel cochlear implant was implanted in Vienna. However, these electronic implants with their twelve electrodes cannot 100% replace the more than 3,000 hair cells in the inner ear, which give as much finer hearing, says Wolfgang Gstöttner, Head of the ENT Department at MedUni Vienna.
Adeno-associated virus as a gene vector
The commonest form of congenital deafness in children is due to the genetic mutation of GJB2 and GJB6. This mutation prevents the protein connexin 26, which is responsible for the cells in the cell complex of the inner ear, from working properly. As a result, the small hairs in the cochlea do not form properly or do not function properly. However, so far no-one has successfully managed to introduce the repair genes into the hair cells to start them working again. The basis for correcting this and many other mutations has now been created in an animal model with the non-pathogenic adeno-associated virus (AAV) replicated in the laboratory. This virus is infiltrated into the hair cells as a gene vector (carrier). What was surprising was that, in addition to the inner hair cells that are responsible for signal transduction, it was also possible to treat the 90% of outer hair cells, which perform an important amplification function in the inner ear and have hitherto been virtually inaccessible for gene therapy. This adeno-associated virus has already been used for restoring liver cells and in the retina.
Once the functionality of the virus had been initially proven in the treatment of a mouse model for Usher syndrome, which is the commonest cause of deafblindness worldwide (Pan et al. Nat Biotechnol 2017), further studies are required to determine the tolerability of the vector, so that this approach will soon be available for treating newborn babies with congenital hearing loss.

Scientists are developing a new approach to restore the hearing loss.

Researchers have taken an important step toward what may become a new approach to restore the hearing loss. In a new study, out today in the European Journal of Neuroscience, scientists have been able to regrow the sensory hair cells found in the cochlea -- a part of the inner ear -- that converts sound vibrations into electrical signals and can be permanently lost due to age or noise damage.
Hearing impairment has long been accepted as a fact of life for the aging population -- an estimated 30 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. However, scientists have long observed that other animals -- namely birds, frogs, and fish -- have been shown to have the ability to regenerate lost sensory hair cells.
It s funny, but mammals are the oddballs in the animal kingdom when it comes to cochlear regeneration, said Jingyuan Zhang, Ph.D., with the University of Rochester Department of Biology and a co-author of the study. We re the only vertebrates that can t do it.
Research conducted in the lab of Patricia White, Ph.D., in 2012 identified a family of receptors -- called epidermal growth factor (EGF) -- responsible for activating support cells in the auditory organs of birds. When triggered, these cells proliferate and foster the generation of new sensory hair cells. She speculated that this signaling pathway could potentially be manipulated to produce a similar result in mammals. White is a research associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience and lead author of the current study.
In mice, the cochlea expresses EGF receptors throughout the animal s life, but they apparently never drive regeneration of hair cells, said White. Perhaps during mammalian evolution, there have been changes in the expression of intracellular regulators of EGF receptor family signaling. Those regulators could have altered the outcome of signaling, blocking regeneration. Our research is focused on finding a way switch the pathway temporarily, in order to promote both regeneration of hair cells and their integration with nerve cells, both of which are critical for hearing.
In the new study, which involved researchers from URMC and the Massachusetts Ear and Eye Infirmary, which is part of Harvard Medical School, the team tested the theory that signaling from the EGF family of receptors could play a role in cochlear regeneration in mammals. The researchers focused on a specific receptor called ERBB2 which is found in cochlear support cells.
The researchers investigated a number of different methods to activate the EGF signaling pathway. One set of experiments involved using a virus to target ERBB2 receptors. Another, involved mice genetically modified to overexpress an activated ERBB2. A third experiment involved testing two drugs, originally developed to stimulate stem cell activity in the eyes and pancreas, that are known activate ERBB2 signaling.
The researchers found that activating the ERBB2 pathway triggered a cascading series of cellular events by which cochlear support cells began to proliferate and start the process of activating other neighboring stem cells to become new sensory hair cells. Furthermore, it appears that this process not only could impact the regeneration of sensory hair cells, but also support their integration with nerve cells.
The process of repairing hearing is a complex problem and requires a series of cellular events, said White. You have to regenerate sensory hair cells and these cells have to function properly and connect with the necessary network of neurons. This research demonstrates a signaling pathway that can be activated by different methods and could represent a new approach to cochlear regeneration and, ultimately, restoration of hearing

Drinking water lowers the risk of bladder infections

Bladder infections are extremely common among women. New research, however, shows that boosting water intake might reduce these infections by almost half.
a woman drinking water
Drinking plenty of water can help keep UTIs at bay.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect any part of the urinary tract, including the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys.
A bladder infection is the most common type of UTI.
Approximately half of all women will experience a UTI in their lifetime.
For those who experience this type of infection once, a solid 25 percent can expect to have another later on in life.
Women are likelier to develop a bladder infection than men due to differing anatomy — the female urethra is shorter than that of men, which means that bacteria can reach the bladder more easily.
Also, the urethra opening is closer to the rectum in women, and the rectum houses lots of bacteria. These bacteria are most commonly associated with UTIs.
Bladder infections, when caught early, don t usually cause serious complications, and they are easily treated with antibiotics.
If not treated, however, they can lead to kidney infections. Symptoms of bladder infections include a burning feeling while passing urine and frequent or intense urges to go to the bathroom, even if there is not a lot of urine to pass.
The new research, which was led by senior study author Dr. Yair Lotan, from the Simmons Cancer Center at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, is now published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Existing drug shows promise for treating aggressive breast cancer

An existing antipsychotic drug could become the first targeted treatment for an aggressive type of breast cancer that is hard to treat.
Antipsychotic needle
An existing drug may help in the fight against breast cancer.
A study led by the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom reveals that the drug pimozide can reduce cancer cell numbers, growth, and spread in triple-negative breast cancer.
In a paper that is to feature in the journal Oncotarget, the researchers describe how they used laboratory cells and mice implanted with tumors to demonstrate the drug s effect.
Some of the tests they carried out also suggest that pimozide could be effective against non-small cell lung cancer, which is the most common form of lung cancer.
Following this success, the team has applied for a patent and intends to start clinical trials in humans as soon as funds permit.

Antibiotic may prevent breast cancer recurrence

One of cancer researchers top priorities is discovering ways to reduce the risk that cancer will recur or metastasize. A recent, small-scale study may have found a common, cost-effective drug that does just that.
Breast cancer cell
An antibiotic might help prevent breast cancer from coming back.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also known as tumor-initiating cells, are a hot topic among researchers.
These cells are resistant to current treatments and play a significant role in both metastasis and recurrence, which are two of the biggest challenges in cancer treatment.
Because of this, finding successful ways of clearing up CSCs is of great interest.
Researchers from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom may have uncovered a treatment that could play an important role.
These scientists spend their time testing drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have already approved. They investigate whether any existing medicines might also be able to help in the fight against cancer.
Concentrating on drugs in this way means that if they do find an existing drug that works against cancer, it could potentially reach the clinic faster.
In a recent paper now published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, the scientists outline the potential use of an antibiotic called doxycycline to clear up CSCs.

How can gold help repair muscle injuries?

Researchers have revealed that nanoparticles of gold, attached to natural anti-inflammatory agents, work well on inflammation and can also promote muscle regeneration.
a man with knee pain
Scientists now believe that we can use gold to help treat muscle injuries.
Muscle injuries can take a while to recover from. This is because inflammation that occurs soon after an injury can hang on for some time.
That inflammation might also be very easy to re-aggravate.
However, there may be some good news on the horizon for those with muscle strains or tears.
Scientists have now designed a way to combine a natural anti-inflammatory agent with tiny bits of gold.
They recently published the new findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Reducing inflammation
It has been known for some time that injections of an anti-inflammatory cytokine called interleukin 4 (IL-4) into an injured muscle can help that muscle recover faster.
There is a caveat, however; the substance breaks down quickly and requires multiple applications that can result in unwelcome side effects. The solution to this problem might (literally) be golden.