Hearing Loss Gene Discovered.

Researchers from the University of South Florida (USF) recently identified a gene related to hearing loss in people. The discovery of a genetic biomarker for age-related hearing loss is nine years in the making.  In particular, the scientists identified a genetic biomarker for presbycuiss and the genetic mutation related to hearing loss can eventually affect a person’s ability to process speech. The researchers from USF and RIT worked with theHouse Ear Institute in finding a gene that creates an important protein in the cochlea, which is the inner ear. The protein, otherwise known as glutamate receptor metabotropic 7 (GRM7), helps convert sound into the code for the nervous system. The brain then utilizes that code for hearing and speech processing purposes.

“This gene is the first genetic biomarker for human age related hearing loss, meaning if you had certain configurations of this gene you would know that you are probably going to lose your hearing faster than someone who might have another configuration,” explained Robert Frisina Jr., a professor at the USF College of Engineering, in a prepared statement.

The study included a DNA analyses by the University of Rochester Medical School and RIT. A total of 687 people participated in the study and completed three hours of examinations regarding their hearing abilities. Testing included observations of speech processing and analyses of genetic material.

The gene appeared to have different results from males and females. The gene ended up having a negative impact for men, but a positive impact for women who reported that they had a better than average hearing in their later years. The differences between males and females relates to a 2006 finding by the Frisina research group that stated that the hormone aldosterone affected hearing capabilities.

The researchers believe that the gene can help people understand how to protect their hearing. They noted that people can prevent hearing loss with little things like avoiding loud noises, particular medications know to cause hearing damage and wearing ear protection. The scientists now understood that presbycusis is caused by a number of different genetic and environmental factors.

“Age-related hearing loss is a very prevalent problem in our society. It costs billions of dollars every year to manage and deal with it. It’s right up there with heart disease and arthritis as far as being one of the top three chronic medical conditions of the aged,” noted Robert Frisina Jr., who also helped found the Global Center for Hearing and Speech Research, in the statement.

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Source: Connie K. Ho for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online

Killian gets well deserved student award at the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The  Student Award went to Killian McDonnell.

A fantastic ambassador for young Deaf people, Killian recently made history as the first Deaf student with Down Syndrome to pass his Leaving Cert. He is highly active within his local community and the Deaf community, volunteering with Dogs Trust Dublin and participating in several productions with the Dublin Theatre of the Deaf.

Media Award for Journalist in the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The  Media Award went to John Cradden.

John is a freelance journalist contributing regularly to a number of leading Irish publications including The Irish Times, Irish Independent, Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post.  John has written extensively on the subject of being Deaf, displaying a willingness to highlight the relevant issues within the Deaf community.  He is currently writing a book about his experiences of a cochlear implant.

 

Grandparent Award given in the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The Grandparent Award went to Gene Barry.

Gene’s daughter recently lost her battle with cancer leaving behind her young son, who both Gene and his wife are now helping her husband to care for. In spite of his great loss, Gene recently organised a golf tournament in aid of cancer care and raised a staggering total of €17,000, with €8,000 of the funds raised going directly to the hospice which provided the care and support to his daughter.

Youth Award for Nine Year Old in the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The Youth Award went to Marcus Conroy.

Nine year old Marcus has been hard of hearing all his life yet it has not stopped him from taking part or getting involved in a range of activities. He is a keen sportsman and competes in judo, football and swimming, winning medals for his achievements in each sport.  Despite wearing hearing aids in both ears he attends a mainstream school and is determined to succeed with his studies.

Lifetime Achievement Hidden Hearing Heroes Award

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The Lifetime Achievement award went to Des O’Callahan.

Des has devoted his entire life working for and helping the Deaf community in Ireland. He was treasurer for the Deaf Club for many years until he moved to St. Joseph’s House for Deaf Adults. He still spends his time in St. Joseph’s House looking after others in the house, helping them with their shopping and interpreting at Mass.

 

Sportsperson Hidden Hearing Heroes Award

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards were presented to nine deaf or hard of hearing people who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence. The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented in various categories The Sportsperson award went to Eoin Nolan

 

Despite being Deaf since birth, Eoin has represented his country at both junior and senior levels at water polo.  Regarded as one of the leading players in the country, he recently captained his club St. Vincents to a unique double, winning their first National League Division 1 title and the Irish Senior Cup in the same season. Eoin played a pivotal role in both campaigns, finishing top goal scorer in both competitions.