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Answers of Konstantin Nikiforov to questions asked by parents at the 17.06 webinar devoted to genetic aspects of deafness

During the webinar on June 17th, many parents who already have children with CIs, were concerned about the following: is it possible to predict the likelihood of having a deaf child in the future? There were other questions as well! They have been answered by Konstantin Nikiforov himself, in the posting below.

[Ulyana Kovna – Lviv] Is it possible to know the likelihood of having a deaf child in advance?

Surely. For that, there is the medical-genetic consultation. You could have the risk of having a congenitally deaf child evaluated while planning pregnancy, and already during pregnancy as well.

[Natalia Tarasova] Do women’s consultations specialists know about this?

It is hard to say. Perhaps they do.

[Olga-Naberezhnye Chelny] Thank you very much for this lecture. But still I wonder, when should parents seek advice of geneticists? What could alert them if they are, all in all, healthy? Or should one see the geneticists only when such a child is born?

Hearing parents should be alerted of the risk if having a hearing-impaired child with congenital deafness, of there is a congenitally deaf person among close relatives.

[Ulyana Kovna – Lviv] Is there a list of symptoms that could give cause for alarm?

No; genetic forms of deafness do not manifest themselves with symptoms. Any child with congenital hearing loss should pass genetic screening, even if there are risk factors of hearing loss or deafness in its medical history.

[Gylmira Zhanzhigitova] How well developed is genetic hearing diagnostics in Kazakhstan? You have only spoken about Ukraine.

I am sorry but I cannot answer this, as I am not aware of the situation in Kazakhstan.

[Ulyana Kovna – Lviv] Is a CI possible for a child with Down’s syndrome or autism.

Technically it is. It is another aspect that is being discussed: how effective is cochlear implantation for such children and is it worth doing? I think that hearing loss must be treated with such children, too, also with CIs. Children with Down’s and autism respond to rehabilitation and show a certain degree of success, though of course not as great as healthy children.

You can find out more about cochlear implantation for these categories of patients in the following studies

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15148195
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20036016

 

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