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Genetics: Connexin 26 and Connexin 30

  • By: Jessica Kianmahd, Patrick Boudreault & Christina G. Palmer
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

In the United States approximately 1 to 3 per 1000 infants are born deaf. In most cases, deaf infants are first identified as deaf through newborn hearing screening. Individuals can be deaf for genetic reasons (i.e., due to variants in the genes involved in the hearing process) and/or environmental reasons. There are many different deaf genes (over 100); so one deaf person may have a different genetic explanation than another deaf person for why they are deaf. Although a family with more than one deaf individual is very suggestive of an inherited form of auditory difference, the absence of deaf relatives should not be mistaken with a nongenetic explanation for deafness. In fact, it is common for an individual to inherit deafness-causing genetic variants and ...

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