Many factors come into play to cause hearing loss. In childhood, almost 50% of cases can be traced to the patient’s genes. Genetic testing promises to help identify such hearing loss before it has progressed, or potentially even before birth, while also helping to steer treatment—most notably, by identifying candidates for a new groundbreaking gene-editing strategy that selectively removes defective genes and eliminates the risk of inheriting the trait for future generations.
Explore this issue:December 2017
To explore the current status of gene editing in the field of otolaryngology, ENTtoday spoke with a number of leading researchers in the field.
Genes Involved in Hearing Loss
Researchers have identified 46 known genes involved in non-syndromic hearing loss, and expect to discover more. The most frequent genes implicated in recessive non-syndromic hearing loss are GJB2 (connexin 26 gene), which is responsible for more than half of cases, followed by SLC26A4, MYO15A, OTOF, CDH23 and TMC1 (Mutat Res. 2009;681[2-3]:189-196).