Journal Article

The Fundamental and Medical Impacts of Recent Progress in Research on Hereditary Hearing Loss

Vasiliki Kalatzis and Christine Petit

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 7, issue 10, pages 1589-1597
Published in print September 1998 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online September 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/7.10.1589
The Fundamental and Medical Impacts of Recent Progress in Research on Hereditary Hearing Loss

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What would define real progress in the field of deafness research in fundamental and medical terms? In fundamental terms, progress would be measured by an improvement in our knowledge of the development and physiology of the ear. In medical terms, progress would lead to the division of the broad category of hearing defects into distinct clinical entities or subclasses, the collection of epidemiological data, the creation of molecular diagnostic tests, the improvement of genetic counselling services and the development of new therapeutics. In this review, we will introduce some general considerations on hereditary hearing loss and on the structure and function of the ear, present the rapidly emerging data on the molecular basis of syndromic and non-syndromic forms of hearing loss and comment on relevant recent progress in this field of research. Generally speaking, the isolation of genes underlying hereditary hearing loss has, as yet, had little impact on our understanding of the biology of the ear, whereas it has made major contributions to the medical field, in particular due to the recognition of two genes, Cx26 and mitochondrial 12S rRNA, as frequently underlying cases of non-syndromic hearing impairment.

Journal Article.  8404 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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