A gene with age-related hearing loss that could help identify people for early treatment as well as lead to a possible prevention has been identified by a team of researchers. The study showed that Slc4a10 gene, when mutated, might play a role in age-related hearing problems. Lindsay Wilson from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Harwell — an international research centre for mouse genetics in Britain,”As we get older, we have an increased risk of developing many conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hearing loss and dementia”. Wilson added that the genes that we carry can influence this, but it is not clear which one does, or how. This study increases our understanding of the genes related to ageing and ill-health and might ultimately help us identify new treatments. For the study, the team introduced new mutations at random positions in genes of mice before they were born, and then monitored their health as they matured.  If an age-related condition developed, the researchers investigated which particular gene in that mouse had been mutated.   One gene identified in this way was Slc4a10, already known to be associated with eye function, but this new study linked defective Slc4a10 to age-related hearing loss for the first time.

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