Recent research out of the University of South Florida has identified a genetic biomarker for age-related hearing loss. The finding could have a significant impact on the future prevention and understanding of age related loss (officially called presbycusis) which affects roughly 30 million Americans.
The study was conducted over nine years as a collaboration project between USF’s Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Findings were published in the journal “Hearing Research” where they revealed a gene that produces glutamate receptor metabotropic 7 (GRM7), a key protein in the inner ear involved in converting sound into a code that is sent to different parts of the brain through the nervous system. Now having identified the gene, the researchers said people can be tested and take steps earlier in life — such as avoiding loud noises, wearing ear protection and avoiding certain medicines known to damage hearing — to protect their hearing.
Interestingly, research found that the gene mutation played out differently in women than in men. While the variation had a negative impact for men, it did the opposite for women, who actually had better than average hearing in their elder years. An interesting finding in the large group study.
To read more about the new found research visit the full post on Science Daily.