Vol. 95 No. 1 January 2002

Counseling for Congenital Hearing Loss

Juichi Ito
(Kyoto University)

       Since the development of clinical genetic medicine, we have needed the knowledge and ability to provide genetic counseling in the Department of Otolaryngology.
     Genetic counseling for congenital hearing loss plays an especially important role in medicine. We have encountered more than 40 such cases in our hospital. Counseling for congenital hearing loss is very complex. Even if both parents are affected by deafness, the risk of their children developing deafness is around 10 per cent, which is very low compared with other genetic disorders. Before the discovery of the genes responsible for hearing loss, it was possible to predict hearing loss in the next child only on the basis of previous data. However, in the past 10 years, many genes responsible for congenital hearing loss have been identified. In fact genetic diagnosis of hearing loss is possible using molecular techniques. Thus, genetic counseling is more complicated than that for other diseases. As is the case for other disease, ethical problems are deeply involved. We discuss not only the molecular technique but also the importance of genetic counseling for the happiness of the patient.

Key words : counseling, congenital hearing loss, gene, deaf mutism, syndromic deafness, non-syndromic deafness


第95巻1号 目次   Vol.95 No.1 contents