The sixteenth gene to cause autosomal dominant nonsyndromic hearing loss (ADNSHL), DFNA16, maps to chromosome 2q23-24.3 and is tightly linked to markers in the D2S2380-D2S335 interval. DFNA16 is unique in that it results in the only form of ADNSHL in which the phenotype includes rapidly progressing and fluctuating hearing loss that appears to respond to steroid therapy. This observation suggests that it may be possible to stabilize hearing through medical intervention, once the biophysiology of deafness due to DFNA16 is clarified. Especially intriguing is the localization of several voltage-gated sodium-channel genes to the DFNA16 interval. These cationic channels are excellent positional and functional DFNA16 candidate genes.
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