Early Onset Hearing LossParent-Child Research Study

Boston, MA

$30-130 Compensation Provided

* Families and individuals without hearing loss can also participate!

Individuals who meet the requirements may receive

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  • $30-130 or more per individual or family for participation

About the Study

Study sponsor: Harvard Medical School 

Purpose of the study: This study investigates early onset presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) and whether or not genetics play a role. Hearing loss can occur in individuals between the ages of 40 and 65. We believe that individuals with early hearing loss may have more genetic risk factors than people with typical onset hearing loss.

We aim to recruit three groups:

  1. Individuals who have been diagnosed with moderate bilateral age-related hearing loss before 65 years of age) this is the "proband" parent group; and
  2. Young, normal-hearing people who have at least one parent with presbycusis (the “offspring” group), as well as
  3. Age-matched normal-hearing people without a family history of presbycusis (the “control group”).

What to Expect: Study Procedure and Logistics

Length of study:

  • Parent assessment: single lab visit, <30 min.
  • Offspring and control assessments: ~4 hr, multiple visits if necessary.
  • Location of study center lab: Boston Children's Hospital (map link)

During the visit:

  • You will provide a blood or saliva sample.
  • If offspring or control groups, you will perform several hearing tests.
  • If offspring or control groups, you will answer some questions about their hearing, general health, and lifestyle.

If needed, participants may discontinue the study at any time.

Who can participate?

Parents must meet the following criteria:

  • At least moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss
  • Diagnosed with hearing loss at <65 years of age

Children/adult children must meet the following criteria:

  • Biological child of someone with age-related hearing loss
  • >12 years old
  • Not diagnosed with hearing loss themselves

Normal-hearing people over the age of 12:

  • No family history of age-related hearing loss

Parents and children can participate independently - a parent can participate in the study even if their child does not and vice versa.

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