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There has been an explosion of studies in the field of genetic hearing impairment in the past decade, associated with major advances in our understanding of the mechanisms and conditions involved. However, a recent review has highlighted the very limited number of studies on the effects of such hearing impairment on the individuals and families of those concerned.
In The Effects of Genetic Hearing Impairment in the Family, under the aegis of the European Union GENDEAF programme, the editors have taken the first steps to address this deficit in our knowledge and understanding of this topic. The book addresses the problem by secondary analyses of existing large scale population studies, by prospective investigation of individuals with a family history of hearing impairment and by specific studies on patients with otosclerosis and neurofibromatosis 2 and their families.
In addition several chapters look at the specific impact of deaf culture, ethnicity and religion on reactions to deafness and the specific needs in genetic counselling.
This book represents an important first step in this field and should be an invaluable resource for all professionals involved with people with hearing impairments.