[Harp-L] Subject: Re: Article re: hearing loss gene discovered

I found this interesting. (Ymmv) ..to find there might be a genetic  
component after all in "some" hearing loss in middle age (and older).  Of  course 
noise related hearing loss probably compounds the problem, but this seems  to 
spell some hope for those who fit the genetic criteria, perhaps holding  promise 
for musicians who'd already despaired of hearing well enough to play  again:
Reported during the annual meeting   
of the European Society  of Human Genetics in Nice, France,June,2007

"Hearing loss gene discovered   

Belgian scientists  have identified a gene responsible for the   
most common cause of  hearing loss among white adults --   
otosclerosis. A University of  Antwerp team, led by Melissa Thys,   
said the finding might lead  to new treatments for the malady   
that affects approximately 1 in  250 people. Otosclerosis causes   
progressive hearing loss as the  growing bone in the middle   
ear interrupts sound waves passing to  the inner ear. While   
the causative factors remain unknown, one  of the genetic   
components has been identified. "The gene (TGBF1)  in which   
the variant is located points to a pathway that  contributes   
to the disease," said Thys. "This may be a lead for  better   
forms of treatment in the future; currently the best  option   
is an operation. "However, there is often an  additional   
component of hearing loss that can't be restored by  surgery,"   
she added. "As the gene involved is a growth factor  and the   
disease manifests itself by the abnormal growth of bone  in the   
middle ear, it may have a large potential for  therapy."   


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