Audiology in Brief Researchers at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine have taken a step toward understanding the genetics that make people more susceptible to loss of hearing as they age. In a study of 50 pairs of fraternal twins with hearing loss, the scientists uncovered evidence linking the hearing loss to ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   September 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   September 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11122006.5
The ASHA Leader, September 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11122006.5
Researchers Study Genetic Cause of Presbycusis
Researchers at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine have taken a step toward understanding the genetics that make people more susceptible to loss of hearing as they age.
In a study of 50 pairs of fraternal twins with hearing loss, the scientists uncovered evidence linking the hearing loss to a particular region of DNA that previously was tied to a hereditary form of progressive deafness that begins much earlier in life.
The work is believed to be the first genomic screening in search of genes associated with hearing loss using a sample of elderly people from the general population. The 50 sets of twins were drawn from a group of twins who are veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
The results suggest that “this region may contain an important locus for hearing loss in the general population,” said Terry E. Reed, professor of medical and molecular genetics at the IU School of Medicine. The region of DNA identified by the IU study, a section of chromosome 3 named DFNA18, was implicated in a 2001 study of hereditary deafness in a large German family.
The findings by Holly J. Garringer, graduate student; Reed; and colleagues Nathan Pankratz (a fellow in the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics) and William C. Nichols, of the University of Cincinnati, were reported in the May issue of Archives of Otolaryngology.
Blast Injuries and Earphones
Victims of the London bombings in July 2005 who were wearing earphones to listen to music on iPods or personal stereos reduced their risk of serious hearing damage from the impact, a survey by London ear, nose and throat surgeons has found. Only 2% of those who reported hearing problems after the bombings were wearing earphones. Surgeons concluded that the phones must have offered protection because approximately 15% of people who travel on the subway usually wear earphones.
Elliot Benjamin and Jeremy Lavy led a team that reviewed all 91 complaints of hearing problems in London after the bombings. Benjamin told the British Academic Conference of Otorhinolaryngology that 84% had hearing loss, 74% had holes in at least one eardrum, and 43% had holes in both eardrums.
The amount of hearing loss depended upon the patient’s distance from the bombs.
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September 2006
Volume 11, Issue 12