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Inherited form of hearing loss stems from gene mutation
Date:7/31/2008

hat people can control, such as smoking and exposure to noise, also can influence how severe the hearing loss is, and how early in life it begins," says Lesperance.

Lesperance has previously been involved in the discovery of three other genes related to particular types of hearing loss. It's thought that hereditary factors may play a role in as many as 50 percent of people with hearing loss.

Genetic testing is possible for more than two dozen genes involved in hearing loss, but testing is available in the United States for only a handful of the most common genes.

Larry Phalin says that he's going to urge family members to be tested for the SLC17A8 mutation an option that now exists for them as a result of the study.

"Then you can be prepared for it," he says. "You can have children tested early, so they don't have speech or school problems."

For his own now-grown son and other family members who have gotten help early on for hearing loss, hearing tests and hearing aids made a big difference. "They get along fine," he says.


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Contact: Anne Rueter
arueter@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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