Age-related hearing impairment (ARHI), or presbycusis, is a common condition of the elderly that results in significant communication difficulties in daily life. Clinically, it has been defined as a progressive loss of sensitivity to sound, starting at the high frequencies, inability to understand speech, lengthening of the minimum discernable temporal gap in sounds, and a decrease in the ability to filter out background noise. The causes of presbycusis are likely a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Previous research into the genetics of presbycusis has focused solely on hearing as measured by pure-tone thresholds. A few loci have been identified, based on a best ear pure-tone average phenotype, as having a likely role in susceptibility to this type of hearing loss; and GRM7 is the only gene that has achieved genome-wide significance. We examined the association of GRM7 variants identified from the previous study, which used an European cohort with Z-scores based on pure-tone thresholds, in a European–American population from Rochester, NY (N = 687), and used novel phenotypes of presbycusis. In the present study mixed modeling analyses were used to explore the relationship of GRM7 haplotype and SNP genotypes with various measures of auditory perception. Here we show that GRM7 alleles are associated primarily with peripheral measures of hearing loss, and particularly with speech detection in older adults.
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Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (COS)
Newman, D.L., Fisher, L.M., Ohmen, J., Parody, R., Fong, C.-T., Frisina, S.T., Mapes, F., Eddins, D.A., Robert Frisina, D., Frisina, R.D., Friedman, R.A., 2012. GRM7 variants associated with age-related hearing loss based on auditory perception. Hearing Research 294, 125–132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2012.08.016
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