An international team of scientists identified a new candidate gene associated with causing sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), the most common type of hearing loss. Michael Olivier, PhD, scientist and chair of genetics at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, TX, was senior author of the study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. The lead on this study is with the Medical College of Wisconsin, whose full news release details the research: MCW Hearing Loss Release.
According to the release, “researchers analyzed a six-generation family of 19 individuals who reported SNHL that began during childhood. Through detailed genetic analyses and sequencing of their genomes, researchers identified a mutation in a specific gene, TMTC2, that likely causes the SNHL in this family.” The genetic analyses and sequencing was performed in collaboration with Drs. Jack Kent and Harald Göring at Texas Biomed.
In the release, Dr. Olivier states, “At this point, very little is known about this gene and how this particular mutation has such a dramatic impact in normal hearing function. We are now trying to find out what this gene really does, so that we potentially can find a treatment for these affected patients.”