New test aims to better understand childhood deafness - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

New test aims to better understand childhood deafness

Updated:
A new test aims to better understand cause of childhood deafness within a year. A new test aims to better understand cause of childhood deafness within a year.

A new genetic test has been piloted by scientists at the University of Antwerp that aims to ultimately make it possible to rapidly screen all known deafness genes to give a far more accurate diagnosis of the cause of a hearing loss.

It's being called a major advance in the diagnosis of inherited hearing loss. It's the result of research funded by Action on Hearing Loss.

"Using today's technology only a few of the many deafness genes can be routinely tested, which means that an accurate diagnosis can typically only be given in 10-20% of cases. Our new test uses advanced DNA sequencing technology that can in principle screen all known deafness genes at the same time. It's a major development from being able to test one or two genes today to being able to screen all known deafness genes in the future," said Professor Guy Van Camp who led the project.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, show that by screening just 34 known deafness genes, an accurate diagnosis could be given in roughly half the cases. Ultimately, all known deafness genes could be screened for the same cost as it takes to test one or two genes today.

"The majority of childhood deafness is inherited and knowing the gene responsible can be incredibly important for parents who want to know the likelihood of subsequent children inheriting deafness. Knowing the cause of a child's deafness can also make it easier to predict how their hearing loss may change over time and help choose the most appropriate treatment or method of communication. This new test will also be very useful in providing a more accurate picture of the prevalence of different types of deafness affecting people across the UK," said Dr. Ralph Holme, the Head of Biomedical Research for Action on Hearing Loss.

Powered by WorldNow

Fox 8 WVUE-TV
Louisiana Media Company, LLC.
1025 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA 70125

General Number: (504) 486-6161
News Tips: (504) 483-1503
News Room Fax: (504) 483-1543

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WVUE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.