Audiology in Brief The New Mexico legislature has passed legislation (HB 308) to require a doctoral degree for audiology licensure, effective Jan. 1, 2007. Pending signature of the bill by Gov. Bill Richardson, New Mexico would join Oklahoma as the second state to require a doctoral degree in audiology for state licensure. ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   May 01, 2005
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   May 01, 2005
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, May 2005, Vol. 10, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.10072005.5
The ASHA Leader, May 2005, Vol. 10, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.10072005.5
New Mexico Close to Requiring Doctoral Degree in Audiology
The New Mexico legislature has passed legislation (HB 308) to require a doctoral degree for audiology licensure, effective Jan. 1, 2007. Pending signature of the bill by Gov. Bill Richardson, New Mexico would join Oklahoma as the second state to require a doctoral degree in audiology for state licensure. Bills to raise educational requirements for audiologists are still active in four other states: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, and Oregon.
The New Mexico legislation would also re-establish licensure requirements for speech-language pathology support personnel that are scheduled to sunset on July 1, 2005. For more information, contact Susan Pilch, ASHA’s director of state legislative and regulatory advocacy, at spilch@asha.org or by phone at 800-498-2071, ext. 4284.
Promoting Audiology on TV
ASHA is promoting audiology services in a televised segment of the “Home and Health Report,” a one-hour program on health and fitness distributed to more than 1,200 television stations around the country, with an audience of up to 10 million viewers. The audiology segment will air throughout May to boost public awareness of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
As part of the segment, Pam Mason, ASHA’s director of audiology, discusses the hazards of noise exposure and how consumers can protect their hearing. ASHA’s public service announcement focusing on the harmful effects of noise also will be aired. Viewers who watch the show and want more information can visit the Web site.
Modifier Gene Makes Some Hearing Loss More Severe
Scientists have identified a genetic mutation in humans that affects the severity of hearing loss caused by a mutation of another gene. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders scientists Julie Schultz and Andrew Griffith and co-authors at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Mayo Clinic Foundation reported their findings in the April 14 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.
Genetic mutations are estimated to cause at least one half of all cases of congenital or childhood-onset hearing loss. In the study, five adult siblings from the same family were found to possess a mutant form of the gene that encodes for the protein cadherin 23, which is required for the development of hair cells in the inner ear. The degree of hearing loss among the siblings varied. While three of the five individuals had severe-to-profound hearing loss, the other two had hearing loss only in the higher frequencies. This variability suggested the action of a modifier gene.
Schultz and her co-workers found that a mutant form of the human ATP2B2 gene, called V586M, accounted for the more severe hearing loss in the siblings who were deaf. The two siblings with better hearing were found to have normal copies of the gene. About 1 in 20 Caucasians are carriers of V568M.
Although V568M does not cause hearing loss, the current findings suggest that V568M may exacerbate hearing loss caused by environmental factors or other genetic influences. Further research is needed to determine the role of V568M and other mutations of the calcium pump in hearing loss associated with advanced age, exposure to loud noise, and mutations in other deafness genes.
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May 2005
Volume 10, Issue 7