Simple test, developed in Canada, is a first.
With what is believed to be the first test of its kind, scientists at Sunnybrook University in Toronto have demonstrated a way to detect hearing disorders using a simple blood test.
“Over 600 million people have hearing loss worldwide,” said Dr. Alain Dabdoub, who is a co-author of the study and senior scientist and research director of the Sonja N. Koerner Hearing Regeneration Laboratory at Sunnybrook Research Institute.
“Current approaches for detecting hearing disorders are mostly based on physical examinations and cannot provide information about the exact location of the cellular damage within the inner ear. There is a need for a new, more precise method to identify sites of damage.”
In their pre-clinical research, Dr. Dabdoub and Dr. Sahar Mahshid, research associate, have designed a biosensor test to detect otolin-1 and prestin, two unique proteins which can be found circulating in blood and are linked to balance and hearing disorders respectively. The test, which is patent pending, is comparable to a glucose monitor and requires only a drop of blood.