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Genetics in Disease Sensory

Age-related hearing loss gene identified

10 years, 10 months ago

1888  0
Posted on Dec 03, 2008, 5 a.m. By Rich Hurd

Researchers have identified a gene associated with presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, thus raising the hope of new treatments for the condition.

Researchers have identified a gene associated with presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss, thus raising the hope of new treatments for the condition.

Rick Friedman, M.D., Ph.D and a team of American and Belgium researchers found evidence to suggest that a common variant of the GRM7 gene, which codes for a receptor known as metabotropic glutamate receptor type 7, puts people at risk of developing presbycusis, a condition that accounts for approximately one-third of all hearing loss. The researchers believe that the gene leaves people susceptible to glutamate excitotoxicity, which damages the inner and outer hair cells in the inner ear, thus causing hearing loss.

“Finding the genetic causes of age-related hearing loss could lead to treatments that would bring relief to millions of people worldwide who now suffer from social isolation, depression and even cognitive impairment as a result of not being able to properly understand what others are saying,'' said study author Dr. Matthew Huentelman in a news release.

Friedman RA, Van Laer L, Huentelman MJ, et al. grm7 variants confer susceptibility to age-related hearing impairment. Human Molecular Genetics. Advance Access published online on December 1, 2008. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddn402

News release: Researchers Identify Gene in Age Related Hearing Loss. House Ear Institute. December 1st 2008.

 

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