28 September 2009

Gene associated with age-related hearing loss identified

An extensive research project has led to the discovery of a gene associated with age-related hearing loss. Next up is testing of treatment options.

The first full genome study for age-related hearing impairment has had important results. A team of American and Belgian researchers believe they have identified a gene mutation which may increase the risk of age-related hearing loss, presbyacusis.

The gene, GRM7, was found to be the likely cause of increased sensitivity to glutamate, a transmitter of nerve impulses, which may result in damaged inner ear nerve cells.

The study was the largest of its kind to date. The researchers studied genetic materials gathered in eight European countries. They are currently working on a laboratory model to test pharmaceuticals for possible treatment of presbycusis.

"Finding the genetic causes of age-related hearing loss could lead to treatments that would bring relief to millions of people worldwide," said Matthew Huentelman, a member of the research team in a press release from the Transatlantic Genomics Research Institute in Arizona, USA.

Source: www.tgen.org


Read also:

Get our news about hearing loss

If you want to receive news from us on hearing loss and other hearing related issues, then please subscribe for our newsletter
Can you pass our hearing test?
Try hearing test
Listen to hearing loss
Get news updates from hear-it
How good is your hearing?
Can you pass our hearing test ?
Try free hearing test