1. Neurotrophic factors have been identified as crucial for the development of the auditory system and have also been proven to be important for continued survival and maintenance of auditory neural connections. 2. In addition, both in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated that these trophic molecules can prevent the secondary wave of auditory neuron degeneration normally seen following the loss of hair cells. 3. Furthermore, neurotrophic factors have been reported to enhance neuronal excitation and to improve the efficacy of synaptic transmission. 4. As such, these molecules are strong candidates to be used as therapeutic agents in conjunction with the cochlear implant, or even to repair and/or regenerate damaged or lost auditory nerve and sensory cells.
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