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Charities seek young scientists to research age-related hearing loss

Posted Jul 15 2009 6:54pm

The RNID and Research into Ageing have joined forces to strengthen research into age-related hearing loss.

The charities are inviting applications for a series of co-funded research projects to investigate why hearing declines with age and to advance the development of treatments.

The joint initiative will provide funding for PhD students, encouraging the most promising young scientists to begin a career investigating hearing in an ageing population. The charities hope that by increasing the number of researchers working in this field, faster progress can be made to produce new treatments.

Dr Ralph Holme, Director of Biomedical Research at RNID, said: "Working with Research into Ageing we hope to encourage scientists from other disciplines to get involved with research into hearing loss. We want to attract the best young scientists to this area. Understanding what causes age-related hearing loss is the first step towards finding ways to prevent it - it doesn't have to be an inevitable part of getting older. "

Professor James Goodwin, of Research into Ageing, the medical research arm of Age Concern and Help the Aged said: "Hearing loss becomes much more common as we age and the impact can be truly devastating for older people. Often it can lead to feelings of frustration, social isolation and loneliness. Therefore we are delighted to be working with RNID in encouraging PhD students to undertake research in this vital area and look forward to some exciting results in the future."

Hearing loss is the most common disability among older people, affecting one in two people over the age of 60, around 6.5 million people in the UK. Hearing loss affects the quality of life for ma! ny, making it difficult for them to communicate with their family and friends, which can lead to social isolation and poor health. Currently, there is no way of identifying those at risk or preventing the onset of hearing loss.

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