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Hope for treatments against hearing loss as 10 genes identified – Neuroscience News

summary: Researchers have identified ten new genes and changes in blood vessels that appear to be linked to age-related hearing loss.

source: King’s College London

Researchers led by King’s College London, Karolinska Institutet and Erasmus University have identified 10 new genes associated with hearing loss and the location of the affected part of the ear.

Results published today in The American Journal of Human Genetics, casts doubt on the understanding that age-related hearing impairment arises mainly from sensory hair cells. Researchers argue that the stria vascularis, part of the cochlea in the ear, is a new target for therapies to help people with hearing impairment.

Many people gradually lose some of their hearing ability as they age, and it is estimated that 2.4 billion people will have some form of hearing loss by 2050. Age-related hearing impairment is a major contributor to years of living with a disability and is also an important risk factor for dementia.

The team studied genetic analyzes previously performed at centers around the world using samples from 723,266 people from 17 studies who had been clinically diagnosed or reported hearing impairment. This meta-analysis is one of the largest analyzes performed in auditory genetics to date. The researchers identified 48 genes associated with hearing loss, including 10 new variants newly associated with hearing.

Additional analysis looking at the genes of mice indicated that age-related hearing loss is due to changes in blood vessels that are essential for hearing. The findings provide targets for the basis of future research that could improve treatments against hearing loss.

Many people gradually lose some of their hearing ability as they age, and an estimated 2.4 billion people will have some form of hearing loss by 2050. Image in public domain

Co-lead author Frances Williams, Professor at King’s College London, said: “Our results identify 10 genes recently associated with hearing loss. This study indicates which genes we can target for screening, drug development and even gene therapy purposes in the future. This study provides a solid foundation for improving treatments against hearing loss. The ultimate hearing.”

Co-lead author Christopher R. Siddruth, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet, said: “It has been hypothesized since the 1970s that stria vascularis may play a role in hearing loss in humans, but molecular evidence for this has been missing until today.”

About this genetics and hearing loss news

author: Tania Wood
source: King’s College London
Contact: Tania Wood – King’s College London
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: open access.
“A genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies 48 risk types and highlights the role of stria vascularis in hearing loss” by Francis Williams et al. The American Journal of Human Genetics


a summary

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This shows a 3D view of a B cell.

Genome-wide association meta-analysis identifies 48 risk variants and highlights the role of stria vascularis in hearing loss.

Hearing loss is one of the most important contributors to years of living with a disability and is a risk factor for dementia. Molecular evidence for the cellular origins of human hearing loss is mounting.

Here, we performed a genome-wide association meta-analysis of clinically diagnosed and self-reported hearing loss on 723,266 individuals and identified 48 loci of interest, 10 of which are novel.

A significant proportion of the associations consisted of missense variants, half of which fall within known familial hearing loss sites.

We used single-cell RNA sequencing data from mouse cochlea and brain and mapped co-variable genomic findings to spindle, root and basal cells of vasculature, a structure in the cochlea essential for normal hearing.

Our findings suggest the importance of stria vascularis in the mechanism of hearing impairment, providing future pathways for developing targets for therapeutic intervention in hearing loss.

2022-05-16 20:58:33

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