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11 Year Old Hears for the First Time After Receiving Groundbreaking Gene Treatment

An 11 year boy is able to hear for the first time in his life after receiving a gene therapy in Philadelphia.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) carried out the treatment, which is the first of its kind in the US. In a statement, the hospital stated that the milestone “represents hope for patients around the world with hearing loss caused by genetic mutations.”

Aissam Dam was born deaf due to a rare abnormality in a single gene. “Gene therapy for hearing loss is something that we physicians and scientists in the world of hearing loss have been working toward for over 20 years, and it is finally here,” said surgeon John Germiller, director of clinical research for CHOP’s otolaryngology division.

“While the gene therapy we performed in our patient was to correct an abnormality in one, very rare gene, these studies may open the door for future use for some of the over 150 other genes that cause childhood hearing loss,” he added.

Aissam received the treatment one year ago in October 2023 and since then, his hearing has improved drastically. However, Aissam might never learn to talk since the brain’s window for acquiring speech closes around the age of five, according to experts.

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