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New findings: artemisinin can help treat congenital deafness

作者:admin

公布工夫:2019-6-17

欣赏次数:999

Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, June 13 (Xinhua) - Chinese scientists have discovered that artemisinin has become an "anti-malarial star" based on the research of traditional Chinese medicine literature. In addition to treating malaria, artemisinin may also help treat congenital deafness caused by specific genetic mutations, a new study has found.


Hair cells in the ear are key cells in many animal's balance and auditory systems. They can transform sound waves into signals that can be transmitted by nerves. The brain receives these signals and then "translates" them into useful information. However, a specific gene mutation can cause hair cells to lose their function, leading to deafness, balance disorders and so on.


Researchers at Cassey Reserve University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they took zebrafish with this gene mutation as experimental subjects and found that artemisinin could help reconstruct the function of auditory cells in the inner ear. It could produce more useful proteins in the inner ear of zebrafish and help hair cells to re-establish auditory connections.


It is reported that whether zebrafish can maintain balance and accurately perceive water flow during swimming is the key to survival, and these abilities need hair cells to play a role. In this study, after artemisinin treatment, the survival rate of zebrafish with genetic mutation increased from 5% to 45%.


Kumar Alagrama, an assistant professor at Casey Reserve University and one of the authors of the paper, said artemisinin is expected to be used to alleviate deafness caused by specific genetic variations in humans and to study other sensory disorders caused by genetic problems in the future.

Reprinted from BBTCML

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